13 October 2006 | Paul Snell
Government IT projects ordered by the Treasury are running almost 17 years late in total, according to figures released by the department.
Answering a parliamentary question, the procurement minister John Healey revealed 27 projects would be completed after the planned date. These include a project in the actuary department more than three years behind schedule and a phone system at the Royal Mint that is 21 months late.
The question from Liberal Democrat MP Vincent Cable had asked Healey to clarify the start date, planned completion date, actual completion date, planned cost and expected cost of 85 IT projects.
The figures also revealed that 21 of the projects are expected to cost more than planned. However, Healey's response also revealed that 19 projects had been implemented under budget.
In response Cable said this raised questions about the government's ability to deliver further large IT projects, such as the ID card programme.
The Conservatives also criticised the government over the figures. Theresa Villiers MP, shadow chief secretary to the treasury, said: "This is deeply embarrassing for Gordon Brown, who loves to boast about government efficiency programmes. All that hype about Gershon and efficiency rings hollow when the facts come out about dismal IT failures."