Feeds

New UK immigration IT system late and £28m OVER BUDGET

On time, on budget, works. Pick two, er, one. Er ...

Reducing security risks from open source software

A £385m computer system being built for the UK's Border Agency and Border Force to process immigrants' paperwork is a year behind schedule and £28m over budget. That's according to the National Audit Office (NAO), which today published findings from a study it undertook in March into the stumbling IT project.

The NAO said border staff cuts coupled with an over-reliance on the delayed computer system - dubbed the Immigration Case Work (ICW) programme - had hampered the service to the point where new workers were needed to plug the gaps:

In 2011-12, the Agency’s workforce reduced by over 1,000 more than planned, despite the fact that progress was slower than expected in the ICW programme and workforce modernisation at the border, and no Agency-wide skills strategy was yet in place. The result of this disconnect was, in some places, a dip in performance and the need to hire new staff or increase overtime.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) hopes to trim £350m in costs off its budget between 2011 and 2015. Part of that money-saving exercise involves cutting loose some 4,500 full-time employees as it relies more heavily on automated systems.

However, NAO was damning about the ICW programme. It said:

We found it had suffered from a loss of focus, poor governance structures and optimism bias in planning and reporting, although the Agency took steps to address these issues during 2011-12. Border Force workforce change has been hampered by the disjointed introduction of change measures and delay in implementation of a comprehensive operating resource model, which is needed to plan optimal deployment of staff.

It added that UKBA was aware of its shortcomings and "is preparing a new transformation programme for launch in the autumn". The agency is expected to make swaths of changes by, among other things, reducing "management layers" by 2015.

"The real leadership test will be whether the Agency can transform casework processing without relying solely on new IT, and whether the Border Force can improve its workforce practices and raise productivity," concluded head of the NAO Amyas Morse.

The audit office's report can be found here [PDF]. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.