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Ministry of Defence: The Defence Information Infrastructure

“It was always going to be a demanding task for the Ministry of Defence to replace its diverse information technology with a single, high quality system. The MoD started with a clear vision of what it wanted to achieve and acted to address known risks. But the Programme has run into difficulties and further concerted action will be needed to increase the rate of roll out of terminals and to deliver the remaining software.”

4 Jul 2008

Shared services in the Department for Transport and its agencies

“It is disappointing to see a programme which aimed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a department leaving it on current projections some £80 million worse off. Departments need to be realistic about the challenges of implementing shared services and to manage suppliers effectively. Over the past year the Department has made efforts to improve the performance of the Shared Services Programme and it cannot afford to fail.”

23 May 2008

The National Programme for IT in the NHS: Progress since 2006

“The scale of the challenge involved in delivering the National Programme for IT has proved to be far greater than envisaged at the start, with serious delays in delivering the new care records systems. Progress is being made, however, and financial savings and other benefits are beginning to emerge. The priority now is to finish developing and deploying care records systems that will help NHS Trusts to achieve the Programme’s intended benefits of improved services and better patient care.”

16 May 2008

The Procurement of the National Roads Telecommunications Services

“The Highways Agency’s procurement identified the risks to the National Roads Telecommunications Services project and successfully transferred them to the private sector, conducting negotiations with the preferred bidder well. It did however take a lot longer than planned and only two bidders remained through to the end of the competition. There are good practice lessons both for the Agency and for other major public procurements”

4 Apr 2008

DEFRA: A progress update in resolving the difficulties in administering the Single Payment Scheme in England

“Since my report over a year ago on the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme, the Rural Payments Agency has made encouraging progress in remedying the problems I highlighted, as demonstrated by an increase in farmers’ satisfaction with the handling of their claims.

“But, until the Agency is in the position consistently to meet the June deadline each year and can process payments within an acceptable tolerance of error, the risk is that farmers’ confidence in the scheme will wane and the European Commission will levy financial penalties.”

12 Dec 2007

Improving the disposal of public sector Information, Communication and Technology equipment

“Government has so far not given enough thought to how it disposes of its computers and related equipment. Growing concerns about the environment and the increasing volumes of equipment means this issue is becoming more important.

“Government needs to understand better the trade-offs between securing better immediate financial value and the wider environmental costs and benefits associated with the disposal of ICT equipment. It should then use this knowledge to develop appropriate procurement and disposal strategies.”

31 Jul 2007

Identity and Passport Service: Introduction of ePassports

“The Identity and Passport Service used sound project management techniques and made effective use of technical specialists to ensure the ePassports project was delivered on time and UK ePassports meet international standards.

“However, the full security benefits of ePassports will not be realised until UK border control readers are fully upgraded, and it is only then that we will know the impact of this new technology on travellers. To ensure future projects deliver value for money, the Identity and Passport Service should aim to improve its engagement with other parts of government, and develop greater in-house expertise to reduce its reliance on external consultants.”

7 Feb 2007

Delivering successful IT-enabled business change

“IT projects in the public sector have too often been associated with failure – this report provides an opportunity to change that. Learning from experience is not just a case of appreciating what went wrong, but also encompasses understanding what went right. Success can never be guaranteed, but it should not be an unfathomable mystery. The common threads among these IT programmes and projects are evidence that a favourable outcome is not a matter of luck, but is the result of sound judgement.”

17 Nov 2006

The delays in administering the 2005 Single Payment Scheme in England

“In paring back the work required to get the single payment scheme ready on time, the Agency underestimated the effort involved in processing claims, but also left itself without the management information it needed to take control of the situation. As a result, many farmers faced unacceptable delays before getting their money and the Agency made mistakes in paying out the correct amount. Unpicking what has gone wrong will take some time.

“Foremost among the Agency’s priorities now must be to determine if the administrative and computer systems for mapping land and processing claims are really up to the job. Until that happens, there is little prospect the problems will be remedied in time to deal with the 2006 claims.”

18 Oct 2006

Child Support Agency – implementation of the child support reforms

“The Child Support reforms were a final but, in the event, unsuccessful attempt to deliver the policy behind the creation of Child Support Agency in 1993. While they have benefited a number of the poorest parents and children, overall they have not achieved value for money and have not achieved what they were designed to do.

“These problems will have caused genuine hardship and distress to many parents and their children. From design to delivery and operation, the programme to reform the Agency has been beset with problems which the Department for Work and Pensions, the Agency and its IT supplier EDS, have struggled to deal with.

“The Agency’s new Operational Improvement Plan is a significant step towards addressing these difficulties and is showing signs of improving the Agency’s performance, but, given the scale of the problems, there will be no quick fix.”

30 Jun 2006