'Bad planning' to blame for MoD computer delay

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The Independent Online

A £7bn computer system ordered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) could not handle secret material, a report has revealed.

The system "was badly planned in important respects", the Commons' Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concluded. It added that "entirely inadequate research" was done and a "major miscalculation" led to delays.

The project was led by EDS, a firm whose track record had "not been exemplary" and had "underestimated the complexity" of the project. It meant the system could not handle secret material and the MoD was left to depend on its old network.

The MPs warned: "Given the scale of delay, the MoD must head off the risk that existing IT systems... will fail." The money needed to do this, they said, should come from fees being paid to Atlas, part of the EDS consortium, and not the taxpayer.

The report stated that the programme, Defence Information Infrastructure (DII), should have installed 62,800 terminals by July 2007, but only 45,600 were in place by September 2008, and that its costs had risen by £182m.