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Another Expensive 'First Metre' Failure in UK Government IT (30 Dec 2005)
Following the Bichard Enquiry into the Soham murders of August 2002 a £167 million computer system was ordered under Project Impact as a matter of urgency by the Home Office to improve the sharing of information between different Police forces. The project was scheduled to go live in March 2005. Not only has that deadline been missed but a report in The Times indicates that  full deployment of the IT system will not now take place until 2010 - although some parts will be available from 2007.


This is just the latest in a long and immensely expensive run of failed IT projects initiated by central governement (the private sector will have its share of failures but does not have to account for them so publially). Previous examples of IT disasters include the 1999 Postr Offices.Benefits Agency project with ICL (as it then was) to allow benefits to be collected using swipe cards. A total of £825 million was written off by the participants when the [project was cancelled.


The Home Office is no stranger to such disasters having seen its Magistrates Court IT project overspend by £250 million and its Probation service IT project overrun at a cost of £22 million. Its £77 million asylum application handling project was effectively abandoned in 2001. In the same year the Child Support Agency saw its £460 million investement in IT fail to deliver to much public embarassment.