Cost of Libra magistrates system trebles

The Department of Constitutional Affairs has admitted that the cost of the Libra case management system for magistrates courts will rise to £487m – more than three times the £146m original cost set in 1998.

The Department of Constitutional Affairs has admitted that the cost of the Libra case management system for magistrates courts will rise to £487m – more than three times the £146m original cost set in 1998.

The much delayed system will also be delivered at least a year later than the most recent roll-out schedule, according to Alex Allan, accounting officer at the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Allan’s statement emerged in uncorrected evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, which was published last week. It revealed that Libra will incur £40m additional support costs before it is fully implemented in March 2008, together with £22m additional software costs, £23m additional services costs and £12m in increased internal costs.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs has begun a tender process for IT contracts covering its entire operations, including Libra. The current contract for supporting Libra, held by Fujitsu, runs out in March 2007, before the system will be fully implemented.

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