Prime Minister defends IT programs

Questions in the House of Commons on the continued delay of the national IT system were put to the Prime Minister by acting Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell.

Feb 9, 2006
By David Howell

Questions in the House of Commons on the continued delay of the national IT system were put to the Prime Minister by acting Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell.

The question related to the continued delay of the Impact (Intelligence Management, Prioritisation, Analysis, Co-ordination and Tasking) system that was one of the key recommendations of the Bichard Inquiry. Unable to directly respond to the question, Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee said: “The Prime Minister could not explain the reasons for the police computer delay in answer to an earlier question. Why, then, should we believe what he says about identity cards, given that they are above all else a Government computer project?”

The Prime Minister failed to respond to the question directly, but instead moved on to justify the introduction of the ID scheme by saying: “On the subject of computer technology, let me say that it is not as if, in respect of either passports or identity throughout the Western world, there are not well-tried systems for identity cards.” It’s unclear when the new IT system will be up and running but recent estimates put this at 2010, some three years after its initially projected start date.

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