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20 November 2007



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Watching Them, Watching Us

Yet Another Government IT Project Failure:

House of Commons Hansard:

5 Dec 2007 : Column 1260W


Legal Services Commission: Internet

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) for what reasons the Legal Services Commission Online was suspended indefinitely on 17 November 2007; and if he will make a statement; [170509]

(2) when he expects Legal Services Commission Online to become operational again; [170511]

(3) how much has been spent on Legal Services Commission Online; and how much has been allocated to the service for each of the next three years. [170513]

Maria Eagle: The new LSC Online service is part of an e-business application, which will enable the Legal Services Commission and its providers to achieve efficiencies through increased electronic working. Although the system was tested prior to implementation, it was only when it was loaded with live data that extensive problems became apparent. As a consequence, on 19 November the LSC took the decision to close LSC Online until further notice.

The LSC is working hard with its technical partners Oracle and Steria to resolve these problems as soon as possible. In the meantime, alternative arrangements have been put in place to ensure that December's payments to suppliers are unaffected.

LSC Online is part of the Commission's new supplier management system, a fundamental overhaul of the way its IT systems operate. The cost of this overhaul is £2.2 million in 2006-07, and £2.7million in 2007-08, the end of the implementation process. The expected costs for ongoing maintenance and support of the whole supplier management system is £860,000 in each of the next three years.

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