Info-tech

TCS mega project for UK Home Office termed a ‘masterclass in incompetence’

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on May 30, 2018

Under the lens According to the Committee, The Home Office and TCS now accept that the contract for modernisation was signed in 2012 without anyone having a clear understanding of what it would take

£229 m over budget, 4 years late and yet to be delivered, says UK parliamentary panel

A modernisation programme by Britain’s Home Office being undertaken by Tata Consultancy Services has come under fire with a British Parliamentary Committee terming it as a “masterclass in incompetence.”

According to a report by the Committee, published on May 25, “The modernisation of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is currently over four years late and £229 million over its original budget, with no agreed date for completion. In 2012, the Home Office planned that the first stage of modernisation would be completed by March 2014 but it is still not complete four years later.”

“The programme was delayed from the start requiring the contract between DBS and its previous supplier, Capita, to be extended by two years because of delays transitioning the service to DBS’ current supplier, TCS. The safeguarding service offered by DBS remains paper-based and, one year before the contract with TCS is due to end, much of the modernisation programme still has to be delivered, and costs are expected to be £229 million more than initially planned,” stated the report by the UK’s House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

When contacted TCS spokesperson said, “TCS and DBS are discussing the recommendations made by the PAC and will incorporate these, as appropriate and feasible, in the remainder of the modernisation plan.”

The report further said that DBS and TCS are now locked in negotiations about where the fault for these delays lie. “Both DBS and TCS claim that modernisation can be delivered before the TCS contract ends in March 2019 but, at the time of our evidence session, neither could offer any details of how or when this might happen.”

Modernisation programme

According to the Committee, The Home Office and TCS now accept that the contract for modernisation was signed in 2012 without anyone having a clear understanding of what it would take to make the programme successful.

“TCS did not think it was its job to offer any advice that might have helped the Home Office run the programme better, and adopted an old-fashioned ‘big-bang’ approach rather than splitting the task into smaller, manageable, pieces from the outset.”

The UK’s Home Office helps safeguard children and vulnerable adults by providing employers with a service that lets them see safeguarding information, such as details of criminal records, about people who want to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Employers use this service to help them decide who to employ. The safeguarding service is run by the DBS, an arm’s length body set up by the Home Office in 2012.

Published on May 30, 2018

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