Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Another public sector IT fiasco continues to rumble on. This time it's the MoT system commissioned by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa).
The £230m system was ordered from Siemens Business Services in 2000 and was due to be rolled out across 19,500 MoT testing stations by May 2002. But numerous problems caused repeated delays and it wasn't finally completed until March this year- four years late, and over budget. And now it is finally installed, wild unreliability is causing major problems for both garages and motorists:
"Glitches have left many of the country's 19,500 testing stations unable to work...They are having to issue paper MoT certificates then register the details of the car on the Vosa database over the following five days. But post offices are supposed to check the MoT database before issuing a tax disc. Although they are allowed to tax a car when presented with a paper certificate, some are refusing to do so."
Moreover- as so often- the public sector seems to have put its faith in technology that is already prehistoric:
"The new technology uses a slow dial-up connection, rather than broadband, and dot matrix printers - technology that is regarded as 10 years out of date. The difficulties have been exacerbated by the back-up system, which relies on garages ringing a call centre for an authorisation code to validate the paper MoT certificates. "With more than 19,000 stations out there, the switchboards have jammed".
As we've said before, the public sector's IT record is absolutely appalling. In fact we're thinking of offering a prize to anyone who can name any project that's come in on time, on budget, and actually does what it says on the tin.
Posted by Mike D at 7:06 pm