back to article Offender tracking database could be binned

Spiralling costs have prompted an urgent review of the government's new end-to-end National Offender Management Service database, it has been revealed. The original estimate for the EDS-built system was £234m, but unions reckon that with £155m already spent the project will come in at £950m. The National Association of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suprise Suprise

    Another EDS / Goverment project running massivly over budget.

    Not sure if VAT is an issue, as doesn't this go back to errr the Goverment?

  2. Duncan Carter

    Can this country do anything right?

    Another day, another over budget, over schedule project thats going to cost us all money and not provide something we need/want.

    I'd emigrate, if it wasn't for the fact that I can't afford to save because what measley wages I get a large chunk of it goes into government coffers for crap I don't want it spent on...

    And don't get me started on insurance companies...

  3. Simon C

    If this was any other company

    the people involved would be dismissed to an inch of their lives.

    How the hell can there be so much scope/project creep and no alarm bells be ringing?

    As for a £950m system....can I opt out of paying for that and take the cash instead?

  4. Jonathan Schofield

    How Much?

    That's around £11,800 per offender. They could almost have a full time probation officer EACH for that.

    Truly the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

  5. Joel Mansford

    ID Card anyone?

    Does this mean there will be more IT staff out there to work on the ID card 'system'?

    Aren't offenders relatively easy to uniquely identify vs. the whole population since the authorities will have photos, DNA (since they were arrested), list of scars and some are even meant to be tagged?

    I'd rather they tried to make this work (and learn the lessons) before attempting an ID card system.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not news.

    EDS fail to bring in a large government IT project on time or on budget?

    Well wheee.

    Tomorrow on The Register - Sun Rises at Dawn.

    If EVER bring in a large IT project that..

    a) Costs less than 500% of original estimate

    b) Comes into use within a decade of the original deadline


    c) Works

    THAT would be news.

    Of course that would pretty much count for any large government project.

    Every day it looks increasingly like the sole purpose of is to find ways of handing over my taxes to greedy and incompetent contractors.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It should the developers paying the goverment for not delivering on time or budget!

    Mr Civil Servant, you are a 1st class prat. Did you forget to take your "special" pill before signing the contract?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it...

    How does the government still keep giving EDS, Crap Gemini, Accenture, Crapita et al contracts to undertake work that the have shown again and again that they are not capable of carrying out?

    I mean, if a builder knackered up your house, took far longer than he should have done and then demanded more money that you had agreed, you wouldn't employ their services again, would you?

    At least some of the blame has to rest with the government for getting a useless company in.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who are the real crooks?

    It will cost £11,875 per offender? What a bargain. We could hire 1 person per offender to just follow them around and it would be cheaper, and some of it would go back to the government in the form of income tax!

  10. Matt


    I'm both shocked and amazed!

    A government IT project close to collapse??

    lol - just imagine how much this magical ID register is gonna cost if they can't make a database for 80,000 people.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deja vu

    Another day, another government IT fiasco...

  12. Master Baker

    cheaper alternative

    Offenders should be painted with glow-in-the-dark, luminous-versions of that anti-vandalism paint. It'd be a lot cheaper and you'd be able to see them from space.

    They could get around it by wearing a hoodie I suppose, but then you could get them with an ASBO too.

    I'd love that. Hoards of glow-in-the dark, luminous Tango men (or women) stalking around the country :-) You could set bear traps for them and hoard them in cages, teaching them special powers (like limb regeneration or making fake passports) before pitting them against each other - like a real-life Pokemon.

    And of course they'd have to be shaven, which means no lice = pubic health goes up. Everyone's a winner.

    Dunno how the government thinks up these crazy schemes. A database for Offenders. Fur fooks sake, it'll never work.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    80000 records

    That's peanuts for a database. Why's it costing more than a £million? For that matter why's the database itself costing more than about £100k? There must be hundreds of companies running databases bigger than that which didn't cost more than £50k to build from scratch and have external access as secure as you'd need.

    Porkbarrel misappropriation of public funds.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This Government is F'ing useless

    I have never ever met a Government that is so F'ing useless as this one. All they do is talk, talk and more talk and then flush all our taxpayers money straight down the drain on F'd up projects like this one. What happens when they become politicians, do they all have Labotomy's ?.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    950 million / 80000 = 12,000 quid a prisoner

    That's 12000 quid a prisioner there, for a database smaller than the one that stores my CD track list.

    Bin it, sue EDS, hire a project leader and two or three staff and do it for less than a million.

  17. Nexox Enigma

    re: 80k records

    It said that the database tracks 80k people - one would assume that they have more than one bit of data on each of them. I have no idea what sort of data they're storing, or what sort of database scheme they've gone for, but there is potential to have 80k /tables/ if you wanted to have detailed records for each offender.

    With 80k records, they could only store current information like address and place of work, but if they wanted to keep track of other things, like parking tickets, work history, and gods know what else, the database could potentially get very large very fast.

    Not that anyone should spend that sort of money on this. Maybe they're using MS Access?

  18. Chris Miller

    Get it out in the open

    The only way to put an end to this stream of fiascoes (not just confined to IT - buy a copy of Private Eye and read the 'In the Back' section for examples ad nauseam), is to make public the terms and conditions under which the orders are placed.

    At the moment, this is all cloaked with "commercial in confidence" terms. While this may be entirely appropriate for deals struck between commercial organisations, this is MY and YOUR money that is being thrown down the drain. It would be most enlightening to see a breakdown of these figures - how much for database design, how much for hardware - which (of course) is precisely why it will never happen.

    Come on Gordon - let's have some of that open government we were promised (ooh look, a flying pig just passed by my window).

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