Government wastes £107 million on IT systems

The government wrote off £107 million in 2013/14 on cancelled and redundant IT projects, according to research by the Tax Payers’ Alliance.

Half of the waste came from the Ministry of Justice, where £56.3 million was lost developing an in-house IT system to streamline HR and payroll services when the back office services were outsourced to the same company who had been tasked with designing the in-house system.

The Department of Work and Pensions spent £27.2 million on the My Benefits Online Project to allow claimants to access all of their information online, but this was then superseded by Universal Credit, which has had its own IT write-offs.

In addition, the DWP spent a further £5 million on three separate IT systems as part of the Universal Credit project which were later abandoned.

Jonathan Isaby, CEO of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “While in some cases closing a programme or getting out of a rental agreement early may make long-term sense, many of these losses are simply ludicrous… it is clear there remains far too much waste in the system.”

A government spokesperson commented: “Like any business, government departments will always have write-downs for things like unused stock, and as the report recognises, some of these figures are outside the control of the public sector.”

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