The "ill-fated" National Programme for IT (NPfIT) has been slated by MPs, who claim the taxpayer is still footing a rising bill for the doomed project.
A Public Affairs Committee (PAC) report released today claims the project is the "worst and most expensive contracting fiasco in the history of the public sector".
The NPfIT project was set up in 2002 in an effort to encourage a paperless NHS and CSC and BT served as the biggest suppliers before it was eventually halted in September 2011.
When the programme was stopped, the government said it would keep some parts of the project in place but with separate management and accountability structures. But today it is claimed the costs of the project are still spiralling.
Conservative MP for South Norfolk and PAC member Richard Bacon said the full cost of the programme was not known. The government's last estimate was £9.8bn, but this figure leaves out future costs of care records system Lorenzo and the potential costs of having to end a Fujitsu contract too, he said.
"The taxpayer is continuing to pay the price for the ill-fated National Programme for IT in the NHS," Bacon added. "This saga is one of the worst and most expensive contracting fiascos in the history of the public sector.
"Given the department's track record with NPfIT, it is very hard to believe that the paperless NHS towards which the department is working has much chance of being achieved by the target date of 2018."
The damning PAC report went on to claim that the results of the programme have been "extremely disappointing", and that only £3.7bn worth of benefits have been realised – just half of the costs incurred to this point.
Another PAC report issued this week claimed that usage of a national police procurement hub was "woefully below" the government's expectations – inhibiting the ability for forces to make savings.
The government expected all forces to be using the hub by last summer, but by the start of this year, less than half were doing so. Only two per cent of items were bought through the hub, well below the 80 per cent target set by parliament.
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