Feeds

Her Majesty's £444m court IT system can't even add up fines

Auditors unable to get hold of revenue accounts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The Libra magistrates' courts case management system has contributed to the inability of HM Courts Service to produce basic financial information to support its accounts, according to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).

The courts service uses Libra, plus information produced by local police forces' IT systems, to provide the auditor with accounts of the revenues it collects from fines, confiscation orders and penalties. On receipt of cash, for example, the courts service uses Libra to record the payment against the person on whom the fine was imposed.

A similar system operates at the courts service's fixed penalty offices, using information from police forces, based principally on the Vehicle Procedures and Fixed Penalty Office system.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: "Because of limitations in the underlying systems, HM Courts Service has not been able to provide me with proper accounting records relating to the collection of fines, confiscation orders and penalties. I have therefore disclaimed my audit opinion on its trust statement accounts."

The auditor said the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the courts service's parent department, plans to look at the functionality of Libra.

The MoJ said that improvements to the accounts for fixed penalties are unlikely until the current Vehicle Procedures and Fixed Penalty Office IT system is replaced with Pentip.

Morse said: "I welcome the further steps planned by the courts service and Ministry of Justice to improve the evidence on its financial position relating to fines, confiscation orders and penalties. However, I recognise that they and other government bodies face significant challenges in improving the extent of available data and on reducing the level of outstanding debt."

The cost of Libra was £444m, plus services charges of some £10m a year. The system is now run by Fujitsu, but the original supplier, ICL, estimated its cost at £146m over 11 years when bidding for the project in May 1998. ®

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.