Headlines: October 28th, 1999

In a move to improve the Government’s poor track record in implementing IT, a world-wide search has been launched to find out how others do it better. Recent problems with the implementation of a new IT system for the Passport Office is the latest in a long line of projects to go severely wrong and to cause acute embarrassment. Leaks suggesting that the cost of the debacle will be borne by the public in higher passport charges has brought anger and demands for better project delivery.The search for best practice is being carried out by a team in the Central IT Unit of the Cabinet Office. It is led by Ann Steward, Deputy Director, who is seconded to the Cabinet Office from the Australian Federal Government’s ‘Office of Government Online’.

The team will look at best practice from the public and private sectors in the UK and abroad. Their remit is to examine all project phases from procurement to final acceptance. They will work closely with the new e-envoy Alex Allen and e-minister, Patricia Hewitt.