UK.gov tool to monitor its legacy applications is delayed • The Register


A system designed to keep up with the UK government’s aging portfolio of applications promised by Joanna Davinson, who was once responsible for overseeing the extra £ 1bn costs on the much-delayed emergency services network, has you ‘ve guessed – been delayed.

Speaking to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee last September, the former IBM executive, who now heads the government’s central office for digital and data, admitted that the government currently does not have a a central and dynamic list of its legacy IT stock and the risks associated with aging IT infrastructure. and nominations.

“What we do not yet have as clearly as I would like is an ongoing process to assess and understand what our intergovernmental asset risk looks like, in which direction it is going and where we need to intervene,” he said. she told MPs last year. .

However, she said a “four-box model” had been piloted in three central government departments since last year and that a tool would be ready for deployment from early January this year.

“The intention is that we will pilot the rest of this year. My intention is that we have a tool that we can start working with – and we will refine it as we go – from the beginning of next year. “, she declared in September 2021..

In a statement to The register, a spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, which oversees the CDDO, could not confirm that such a tool had been put online.

“We are committed to tackling legacy technologies across government. Last year, CDDO formed a working group in several ministries that is developing a common framework to identify and assess legacy systems. This important work is ongoing and is a key objective for the CDDO, “he said.

Organization for digital delivery, an independent report released last summer by the Digital Economy Council, found that half of the £ 4.7bn spent on IT in 2019 was used to ‘keep the lights on’ on ‘systems obsolete ”. In addition, the process of maintaining legacy technologies is expected to cost taxpayers between £ 13 billion and £ 22 billion over the next five years.

In December, PAC reported that the government had “no clear plan” for how it would replace aging legacy systems critical to the functioning of the public sector, despite some systems dating from the 1970s. Systems dealing with data on UK borders and paying state pensions were examples of archaic heritage.

“Many of these systems are stable and operate in an acceptable manner at a reasonable cost, but others are high risk, unreliable, contain security holes or hinder business transformation,” the published report said.

Davinson is no stranger to dealing with PAC. Speaking to the public expenditure watchdog as head of digital, data and technology at the Home Office in September 2020, she admitted that two-year delays at ESN, designed to take care of emergency calls from firefighters, the ambulance service and the police would cost £ 550million per year.

The 4G-based system was originally scheduled to be operational by 2017, but in 2019 it was delayed for five years.

A ‘mindset reset’ in 2018 meant the UK blue light communications network upgrade program may not be fully available until the end of 2024.

Davinson was then promoted in 2021 to head the newly created CDDO, designed to be the new strategic center for government activity in “digital, data and technology”, including the fight against the coronavirus and the reconstruction of our economy, according to a press release.

She now heads the government’s 18,000 digital, data and technology professions and heads the function for the government. ®


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