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Catalogue of failures killed MoD project

Fundamental management weaknesses led to the cancellation of a Ministry of Defence stores inventory system at a cost to the...

Fundamental management weaknesses led to the cancellation of a Ministry of Defence stores inventory system at a cost to the taxpayer of £118m, the National Audit Office revealed last week.

The public spending watchdog exposed a catalogue of failures in the Defence Stores Management Solution (DSMS) project. It had been expected to cost £20m but costs soared to £130m before the project was cancelled.

The implementation, started in 2000, was expected to save £650m over 10 years. The MoD's annual report and accounts revealed that only £12.2m was saved - in computer hardware costs - with the remaining £118.3m written off.

The MoD's post-project evaluation review identified weaknesses in change management, financial governance, communication, risk management and the scrutiny and approvals process as key factors behind the failure.

The MoD said it has since set up initiatives to address the issues identified in the report.

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