A series of botched IT projects has left taxpayers with a bill of more than £26bn for computer systems that have suffered severe delays, run millions of pounds over budget or have been cancelled altogether.
An investigation by The Independent has found that the total cost of Labour’s 10 most notorious IT failures is equivalent to more than half of the budget for Britain’s schools last year. Parliament’s spending watchdog has described the projects as “fundamentally flawed” and blamed ministers for “stupendous incompetence” in managing them.
Further evidence has emerged over the failings of Labour’s most costly programme, the mammoth £12.7bn IT scheme to revolutionise the NHS. The Independent has learnt that just 160 health organisations out of about 9,000 are using electronic patient records delivered under the scheme. The vast majority of those were GP practices. New figures have also revealed that millions of pounds have been paid out in legal fees. The taxpayer has footed a £39.2m bill for “legal and commercial support” for the National Programme for IT