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Known mistakes repeated on £234m IT system for prisons

Those in charge of a £234m “C-Nomis” IT system for prisons made mistakes which had been evident often before in government IT projects, said the National Audit Office in a report published today.

Those in charge of a £234m “C-Nomis” IT system for prisons made mistakes which had been evident often before in government IT projects, said the National Audit Office in a report published today.

In 2002 the Office of Government Commerce and the NAO agreed eight common causes of project failure.

The lessons were given to departments in 2003, before the C-Nomis project was launched in 2004. 

Today’s NAO report found that managers responsible for a Home Office and the Ministry of Justice’s National Offender Management Information System repeated four of the eight common causes of failure in full and three in part. 

These were the common causes of failure which were partly or evident in C-Nomis:

  1. Lack of clear link between the project and the organisation’s key strategic priorities including agreed measures of success
  2. Lack of clear senior management and Ministerial ownership and leadership
  3. Lack of effective engagement with stakeholders
  4. Lack of skills and proven approach to project and risk management
  5. Evaluation of proposals driven by initial price rather than long-term value for money, especially securing delivery of business benefits
  6. Lack of understanding of, and contact with, the supply industry at senior levels of the organisation
  7. Lack of effective project team integration between clients, the supplier team and the supply chain

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