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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
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
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
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.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.