Pounds 48m government system 'inadequate': Computer equipment too complicated, report says

A COMPUTER system developed by the Department of Employment at a cost of pounds 48m is inadequate, under-used and its installation was disrupted by weak management and unskilled staff, according to a report by the Auditor General.

Information equipment introduced at 82 Training and Enterprise Councils in England and Wales was also found to be complicated and difficult to operate, the government spending watchdog found.

The remarks are the latest in a series of attacks on ministers over the purchase of new technology involving the expenditure of at least pounds 200m of taxpayers' money.

In his report Sir John Bourn, Comptroller and Auditor General, said the system had been only a 'partial success' and was the 'source of friction' between the TECs and the Government.

The so-called 'Field System' was developed by the Department of Employment specifically for TECs, which are responsible for nearly pounds 2bn of state spending on vocational training, largely for the unemployed.

Last month the Department of Health was accused by doctors of wasting an estimated pounds 86m on poorly regulated and incompatible information systems for GPs.

At the end of last year, Robert Sheldon, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, accused the Government of a 'slap happy' approach to the introduction of computers into Whitehall departments and state-funded services.

The National Audit Office says in yesterday's report that the Department of Employment experienced 'significant problems' in developing and implementing the system.

Many of the councils were not using it to its fullest extent. 'Weaknesses in management and control compounded the problems that affected the project,' the report says.

Computer Systems for Training and Enterprise Councils: The Department of Employment's Management of the Field System; HMSO; pounds 7.40.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border