Students let down by Government IT

The Guardian reports on yet another disastrous Government IT project, via Tim Worstall:

"Ministers have admitted that nearly 200,000 school and college students are still waiting for study grants three weeks into term following the collapse of a new software system.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said there was no guarantee that pupils would get their grants - worth up to £30 a week for 16- to 18-year-olds - this side of Christmas.

The system, designed to speed up the process of allocating 500,000 grants every year, crashed over the summer and had to be replaced with manual forms, while students have been left frustrated by unanswered helplines."

A year ago we studied (PDF) a huge range of Government projects and found that they wind up a third above their initial budgets, on average.  Unfortunately, those financial overruns are just one of the sets of problems created by big government projects regularly going wrong.  There are also delays and projects that don't deliver what they are supposed to.


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