back to article £1bn UK justice system digitisation scheme in massive delay shocker

The £1bn modernisation of UK courts is behind schedule due to delays with its digital programme, the National Audit Office said today. In its update, the report said some online services are not yet fully available to the public because Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) has made less progress than anticipated …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "We will continue [..] working closely with our stakeholders to improve and ensure reform."

    Um, somehow that does not incite me to think that the program is going to complete any faster.

    Looks like the snouts are firmly in the trough again.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: "We will continue [..] working closely with our stakeholders to improve and ensure reform."

      More consultants will be hired to make the project more expensive and delay it even further. It will become a perfect example and implementation of Brooks's law.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: "We will continue [..] working closely with our stakeholders to improve and ensure reform."

        There has to be a corollary related to Brooks law with positive feedback?

  2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    From the home where ITIL and AGILE was born ... the inability to deliver a project on time, within budget and/or something that actually works.

    Makes one really wonder where did it all go worng.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The classic government project manager/programme manager's dilemma - choose:

      EITHER two of the following items:

      - on-time

      - on-budget

      - a working system

      OR all of the following items

      - regular dining with suppliers to ensure you remain up-to-speed with projects

      - a healthy work/golf balance favouring the latter. Very important to watch your health given all the wining and dining.

      - a job that will likely last the rest of your life...stay healthy, you want to make the most of those generous government pensions...

      - a project that....does it really matter?

      - getting to know the NAO and how to discuss projects in a way that leaves the impression that something is being done urgently to address the points they raise without ever really saying anything meaningful

  3. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    RE : To deliver a system that works better for everyone and delivers savings for the taxpayer."

    Really? Isn't it about time we did away with this charade? Since when did ANY project initiated by the government actually deliver any savings that resulted in a reduction of direct or stealth taxation. The answer of course is NEVER.

    Any cash benefits saved by this implementation will already have been long ago appropriated on "consultants" to advise our incompetent politicians on how to fuck things up even further. That, or spent on more overpriced missiles to drop on unarmed brown people.

    1. Severus

      Re: RE : To deliver a system that works better for everyone and delivers savings for the taxpayer."

      You were doing so well, right up to the vacuous comment about missiles which completely negates your entire point of view.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: RE : To deliver a system that works better for everyone and delivers savings for the taxpayer."

        One comment, however vacuous, on an entirely separate subject does not negate the opinion made on the original subject. By your rules I would have to ignore your opinion that Aristotle's slow and dim-witted horse was previously doing so well.

  4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    Having worked for years on government projects, this doesn't surprise me. There's always a problem you didn't foresee somewhere - you need to connect to some legacy system that was written in COBOL in the 60s but nobody has the source code; there's a piece of legislation that prohibits you from making certain bits of information visible to certain users, so you have to get the vendor to develop some custom security; or maybe you've got all the technical agreements in place but then someone's security team questions the port number because it's used by a known trojan... all of which needs to be documented and made publicly accessible, and voted for and/or approved by people with the relevant powers so to do.

    tl;dr: it's not just the IT, there's laws as well and you're not allowed to break them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its going to get much more expensive as they now need to extend to quantum computing to cope with the phenomum of Schroendingers Court where something can be both legal and illegal at the same time until the Supreme Court opens the case!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I heard the project stalled due to a mix up over the term ‘Digital’. Someone pointed out that they already have lots of Digital Unix systems, so they all went to the pub to celebrate a job well done. 6 months later they realised that still relying on Digital Unix in 2019 probably wasn’t something they should be celebrating...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digital

      I heard rumours that they were going to have migrated off Digital Unix by the end of the year.

      But they didn't say which year - and that was at least 3 years ago !

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Anyone would think there's an interest in having an out-of-date justice backoffice which can't cope with the caseload and somehow is impossible to modernise...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Protecting and advancing the principles of justice

    “Our guiding principles. A just system that is built in partnership with and around the needs of those who use it (citizens, judiciary, business users, victims, witnesses and state users)”

  9. Dave 15 Silver badge

    I wonder

    I wonder which large european (probably French) consultancy is being paid for this? A billion is a huge amount, the money is almost certainly going at roughly 1500 an engineer per day, mostly to their bank but a small amount of it to a bunch of Indians in Bangalore. Our government never seems to , from the NHS to police cars and now this, buying foreign damages our economy, and when it comes to software always fails

  10. TrumpSlurp the Troll

    Meanwhile, back in real life

    The entire judicial system is crumbling.

    Courts are under utilised because the physical infrastructure is failing and the funding has been cut so much that they can't afford to pay enough people, from cleaners to counsel to CPS to judges, to utilise the courts that they still have open.

    Try searching Twitter for @BarristerSecret for information. You could even read their book if you like being seriously depressed.

    But no, it is all going to be sorted by "digital".

    Sorry, the pigs aren't flying today. Runway's covered in unicorn piss, allegedly.

    On a more IT angle, do and end to end systems analysis to increase the effectiveness and productivity of the judicial system.

    Get more raw materials into the system. 20,000 more police.

    Get more product out of the system and into storage. Build new prisons.

    Job done!

    Hang on, why isn't the whole system working faster and better?

    The bit in the middle, between input and output!

    You need to be able to process all the extra product you are feeding into the system before it can come out the other end into the extra storage space.


    Oh, and the flow chart of successful management of criminals.

    Release from prison.

    Rehabilitate back into society. I'm sorry, due to funding constraints this feature has been rescheduled to the next release.



    GOTO: 20

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    So I've got the Johnson vs the rest of the nation Supreme Court case livestream on in the background

    And it turns out they're messing around with different versions of evidence on USB memory sticks with different page numbers so every time a new piece of evidence is introduced they spend a minute or two trying to find it.

    And that, apparently, is worth £1bn.

  12. southen bastard

    I can see the problem

    Theres no AI and wheres the blockchain componant?

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