Feeds

MPs give offender system drubbing in scathing report

Government cannot explain where the millions went

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The Public Accounts Commitee, the funding watchdog, has reported back on its investigation into the failed National Offender Management System - which was abandoned in 2007 after wasting millions of pounds - without pulling any punches.

The EDS-run project was effectively gutted two years ago - it will now, hopefully, provide three databases rather than one, by 2011 at a cost of £513m.

The original spec was for a single database for all offenders at a cost of £234m. It originally aimed to create a single database with an individual record for every offender at every stage of the justice process which would be used by prison service and probation service.

The Committee found the same depressing roll call of faults that dog so many government IT projects in the UK. There were no cost or progress checks for the first three years of the project. The "Senior Responsible Owner" - meant to carry the can throughout the life of the project - had no project management experience, which meant that NOMS cannot explain in any detail how or where the £161m was spent.

The relevant government departments had a "good news culture", so senior managers did not challenge the promises they were given by vendors.

No individual took key decisions or responsibility for the failure.

The report is robust in its criticism of the failed project. It said:

C-NOMIS is a singular example of comprehensively poor project management, and roll out of the re-scoped programme has only just begun. The C-NOMIS project, initially envisaged by the Home Office for delivery in January 2008 for £234 million, was stopped in August 2007 because costs had trebled. The NOMIS programme was revised and scaled back to three offender databases for £513 million, for delivery by 2011.

The Committee warned that despite assurances from NOMS it remained concerned that the reduced project would fail.

The PAC report, available here, reflects almost exactly the verdict given by the National Audit Office. The NAO report described the running of the project as a "masterclass in sloppy management".

It said the failure could have been avoided if the "basic priniciples and existing good practice had been followed". ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?