Latest Government Computer Disaster Cost £141m

September 5, 2006 12:00 AM

A new Government computer system used to process benefits payments has been scrapped at a cost to the taxpayer of £141m.

The new computer programme was meant to modernise the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits payment process, but news emerged today that the Government has cancelled the project having spent £141m on it.

Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central and member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said the failure was very worrying:

"For the Government, this is the latest in a long line of computer disasters. For the public, it's a colossal waste of taxpayers' money. And for the DWP, it's yet another setback.

"This Government is to computers what Simon Cowell is to diplomacy. Time and time again we've seen flagship computer projects go up in flames and taxpayers' money go down the drain.

"Meanwhile the Government is trying to launch one of the most complex and sensitive computer projects in history in the form of their ID Card scheme.

"Bearing in mind their awful track record with computers, we now have serious doubts about the Government's ability to successfully deliver such a complex and enormous programme.

"Our benefits payments system is in desperate need of successful reform. The system remains riddled with errors that affect some of our most vulnerable people and families. We need radical reforms of this inefficient and over-complicated system, not more computerised white elephants."

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