Great computer cock-ups

Taurus: The infamous Stock Exchange "paperless" share settlement system, abandoned after an estimated pounds 140m was invested.

Department of Social Security: A system called Operational Strategy to computerise benefits payments was originally planned to cost pounds 700m in the late 1980s. The Government now plans to spend pounds 2.6bn.

Wessex Regional Health Authority: Scrapped a computer database in 1990 after spending pounds 63m.

Hyder: Abandoned an electricity billing project in 1996 after spending pounds 35m.

London Ambulance Service: During 1991-92 had two attempts to computerise ambulance dispatch costing pounds 9m.

Performing Rights Society: Developed a system called PROMS to computerise royalties for performing artists. So far pounds 16m has been spent.

Source: "Computer Weekly".

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