DoH IT projects overshoot budgets by £247,000

'Unexpected technical issues'

Five of 15 IT projects run by the Department of Health and its agencies are costing £247,000 more than expected.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw produced the figures in response to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable.

Bradshaw attributed the overspend to "unexpected technical issues" and said the worst performing project was an upgrade of the department's Lotus Notes 7 email system, which will cost £2.125m, £165k and 8.4 per cent over its budget. It is scheduled for completion this month (February 2008), rather than in October last year as originally planned.

A project to replace the medical benefits system, which will be completed in March rather than last December is £25,000 (3.7 per cent) over its £680,000 budget. It was explained that this was due to "underestimation of supplier costs and unexpected technical complexities".

The NHS car leasing project, which is on schedule for completion in July, is £20,000 (20 per cent) over its £100,000 budget, because it was using an estimate made before its procurement had been finished. NHS reference costs for 2008 have been increased from £1.154m to £1.227m.

Together, the five over budget items cost £289,000 more than planned. The overall figures were flattered by £42,000 less than expected being spent on Delphi, the department's intranet enhancement project – which is currently on hold with no completion date, although three of its four project modules have been finished.

The data covered the department, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

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