Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Hopeless IT Projects

We've blogged so often about hopeless government IT projects, we've already ground our teeth down to the gums. But the latest revelation is right in Gordo's own living room:

"New figures from the Treasury reveal projects undertaken by Gordon Brown’s department are reportedly 17 years and 3 months behind schedule.The delayed projects include the Child Trust Fund (6 months late) and the Pensions Schemes project (one year behind schedule). One project in the Government's Actuary Department is over 3 years behind schedule."

Given his enthusiasm for all that Gershon efficiency guff, this ought to have our brilliant Chancellor chewing the duvet at 3am. Hmm.

From the NHS Supercomputer, to the national gun register, to the notorious Libra project, our government has routinely run some of the slowest IT projects since Babbage first came up with his cogs. The specific causes are many, but the common themes are a lack of realism in the initial requirements, frequent spec changes during construction, and poor management of contractors.

And most of these projects involve technology that's well established and routinely used otside government. When it comes to stuff on the leading edge of technology, like biometric ID cards say, the idea that government could successfully implement it is simply laughable.

I wonder why we're not laughing.

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