Users' approval of Nirs2 is on the rise

The national insurance recording system, Nirs2, which has been regarded as a disaster by some MPs and the media, is increasingly...

The national insurance recording system, Nirs2, which has been regarded as a disaster by some MPs and the media, is increasingly well regarded by its departmental users.

An internal satisfaction survey has found that Inland Revenue's end-users rate the Nirs2 system, on its quality and performance, as better than their general IT systems.

After Nirs2 was introduced in 1998 the processing of National Insurance records was delayed, leading to incorrect retirement benefits being paid and rebates to pension providers being withheld.

The system, which holds the National Insurance records of about 65 million people, built by Accenture, has been criticised repeatedly by MPs and its introduction was said by the public spending watchdog the National Audit Office to have led to "poor customer service".

But the latest survey of the system's end users shows that they consistently up-rated their view of its performance and quality between June 2001 and August 2002.

With one as the lowest score and six as the highest, end-users gave system quality a 4.12 rating and performance 4.11. But the handling of problems scored much lower - about 3.6.

The opposite was true of the Revenue's IT systems in general. End-users marked the quality at an average of 3.9 and performance at 3.7, although problem handling was higher at 4.0.

Inland Revenue, which has more than 55,000 end-users, says the average score for systems in general is 4.07.

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