Feeds

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

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

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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]. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
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!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.