VAT bill scuppers convict-watch IT system

The government IT programme C-Nomis, which was established to aid monitoring convicts, has a £33m capital shortfall because VAT was excluded from the original estimate, the Times has reported.

The government IT programme C-Nomis, which was established to aid monitoring convicts, has a £33m capital shortfall because VAT was excluded from the original estimate, the Times has reported.

C-Nomis is a convict management system and provides risk assessment of convicts, warning the user if they attempt to place a prisoner in a cell where a cell-sharing risk conflict exists or could potentially exist.

The Times quoted a letter from Roger Hill, director of the Probation Service, which stated, "We have advised ministers that we will need to undertake a fundamental review of the work to return to an affordable programme."

The budget for the C-Nomis system was £244m. The government has already spent £155m. EDS, the contractor, is due £50m if ministers cancel the project at this stage.

Probation services around the country are working to implement the new system. In its annual statement published in April, Thames Valley probation service said, "We will improve our process management through a business process re-engineering project in preparation for the roll-out of the new national IT system (C-Nomis), which is expected in July 2008."

The results of the review are due in autumn.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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