Government IT Failures

While thinking about how an ID database might be designed, implemented and rolled out with a budget of £3.1bn I decided to have a look into the government’s track record on IT open source projects wiki.

If you find any more government IT failures out there do add them here, I suggest limiting to failures of the UK government for now as otherwise this page could quickly become unmanageable.

May 2001, Payroll system not delivered 9 years late
Company McDonnell Douglas Information Systems
Department Department of Finance and Personnel
Cost £3.3m

2001, MoD Computers hacked ‘at least’ 48 times
Company n/a
Department Ministry of Defence
Cost unknown

2002, Government website hands out money to ‘fraudsters’
Company Capita
Department Department for Education and Skills
Cost Unknown

November 2004, 80,000 Staff Unable to process new pensions
Company Microsoft & Electronic Data Systems (EDS)
Department Department for Work and Pensions
Cost unknown, but the support contract costs £2bn annually

November 2004, Police in England & Wales unable to use fingerprint system NAFIS for over a week.
Company Northrop Grumman (TRW at time of implementation)
Department Police Information Technology Organisation (public-body)
Cost Implementation cost £88m

May 2006, 18,300 MOT testing centres disrupted by technical problems with MOT system delivered 4 years late.
Company Siemens Business Services
Department Ministry of Transport
Cost Implementation cost: £230mCompensation cost: unknown

Inland Revenue


Benefits system


Gov computer stuff


Corporate identity – new scandal over ID cards Has a list of Government IT Failures.