Feeds

Army spaffed MILLIONS up the wall on flawed Capita online recruiting system - report

May cost £50m to fix - on top of £15m already down drain

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Ministry of Defence's implementation of a computer system for an online recruitment drive has reportedly been far worse than the "teething problems" the UK government coughed to in December.

According to The Times (subscription needed), the British Army's £1.3bn scheme to allow the MoD to privatise its recruiting and move it online has been hamstrung by a series of blunders after Capita was awarded the contract in 2011.

It's understood that around £15.5m has been wasted on the Recruitment Partnering Project to date.

In a confidential report by IT research outfit Gartner - seen by the newspaper - concerns were expressed about the entire plan, including a poor project management team and delays that were allowed to spiral out of control.

It was also claimed that the Army's recruitment division had failed to challenge MoD policy in 2011 that had apparently favoured the less suitable of the two competing bidders chasing the contract.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is said to be mulling over a £50m payout for new tech to fix the computer system, which is now not expected to be live until 2015, the General Election year.

An MoD spokeswoman told The Register that the Army had already "acknowledged a number of problems" with its Capita recruitment partnership late last year.

"Ministers have gripped these problems and put in place a number of fixes to correct the issues that had emerged," she said.

In the meantime, the MoD is bringing in "work-arounds and mitigation measures to the old IT platform to simplify the application process," she added.

When pressed by your correspondent about the £50m Hammond is said to be considering to pay for a new IT solution, the spokeswoman told us: "We wouldn’t comment on the figures from a leaked document."

A source close to the situation claimed to El Reg that - despite concerns about the computer system - applications from wannabe soldiers will continue to be processed face-to-face once a form has been filled in online.

In mid-December last year, the government's under-secretary of state on defence, Lord Astor, told Parliament:

We have been very open about the fact that there have been teething problems. The Army and Capita are fixing these. The new website will be up and running in January, and there will be a faster recruitment pipeline. Temporary adjustments have been made to applications to ensure that we continue to progress new recruits. We want to cut out any blockages there.

However, the peer's definition of "new" might be considered a loose one. We asked the MoD about the status of the website as of today.

The Army's spokeswoman told us: "It’s not brand new, i.e. it’s still the old domain name, etc, but we’ve improved it to make it easier to navigate and more user-friendly."

We asked Capita to comment on this story, but it hadn't got back to us at time of writing. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.