back to article SFO abandons case management IT

The Serious Fraud Office has written off £1.3m on an abandoned case management system. In response to a Freedom of Information request, the SFO said that the system, which reached "early build" stage, was intended to replace its existing case management software. The SFO currently uses Docman software, developed in partnership …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Sneaky

"In response to a Freedom of Information request"

you mean, they were keeping quiet about it until sombody asked

1
0
Gold badge
FAIL

Yet another bespoke system

Because *no* one has a job to do like ours.

No one has to track tasks, witnesses, evidence like *we* do.

Fail because they could have spent £100k on understanding *what* they do and finding out which (of several) packages could do it and *still* come out ahead.

3
0
FAIL

Total Ignorance

Not only do you know nothing of the SFO requirements but you make remarks about the solution when you don't know what it was.

The real issue here is that a government agency has wasted everyone's money - private as well as public - on a procurement when they didn't even have the money approved in the first place.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Shold be a bespoke system

Lucky they haven't wasted 700 Million like the Australian Taxation Office trying to adapt a off the shelf CRM system to complex case management and a similar Land Tax system to income and other taxes. Neither of which work properly as yet. Maybe, just maybe, those mandarins who prefer to develop their systems IN HOUSE have the right idea after all rather than pissing money up against the wall paying consultants whose managers and owners get multi million dollar bonuses.

0
0
IT Angle

Only 1.3 mil?

I thought government IT projects were only abandoned once they'd hit at least 8 zeroes?

In this resepect, although certainly not a success, it's could be considered a 'reasonable' failure.

Sorry, I can't refrain any longer - WHAT A FUCKING WASTE OF MONEY

<-- Because people in gov obviously don't know any

0
0
FAIL

@Yet another bespoke system

Actually SFO do have a number of issues that most other case management users don't, which exceed the capability of most case management systems.

Evidential control of huge quantities of paper and electronic data that no other system comes close too, and migration issues of in-flight cases which last years and years.

Most commercial case management systems are based on CRM, and do not need to manage more than the odd letter or two from a disgruntled customer.

Fail for not understanding the application space SFO sit in.

1
1
Paris Hilton

Balls...

Having spent many years in the past developing Case Management systems for the legal market in UK, there are a variety of different legal practice areas that require the logging of ridiculous amounts of data. Class action suits, such as Zebrugge Disaster, AIDS infections through infected blood etc spring to mind. These sorts of cases generate staggering amounts of data as well as requiring a raft and other evidence to be stored with the case. Typically these cases are not focussed on a single "client/claimaint" which ramps up the scale a tad. Sadly, these cases also last for years. The SFO requirement is not exactly unique in many respects.

I would also argue that a good deal of CM systems are not CRM based. CRM is typically a single view of a customer across an entire enterprise/business and their interactions with said biz, whereas CM, er, isn't..

Paris because her relationship management is at best, dodgy

1
0
Linux

Chicken Feed

This loose change (£1.3 million) does not even merit a mention on the record of government IT profligacy. Can we applaud those with the courage to pull out before much more was wasted? Once these projects get under way, no matter how unsuitable they are, it takes a great deal of confidence to admit to the cock up. Usually organizations feel impelled to continue in case they are seen as wasteful, by failing to gain from the 'investment' already made.

2
0
FAIL

@Yet another bespoke system

Oh yeah, so no one else in the world has done this before? ... the FBI, the CIA, big law firms? corporate lawyers? ... seems like they have some pretty exacting requirements from a case management system.

Why does every IT and defense project have be totally bespoke? why do we have to build from scratch?

why oh why do we have utterly unique needs that no one else have ever come across before?

1
0
Silver badge
Megaphone

E-government at work.

Britain takes the lead again, back to paper.

P.S. Canadian Courts are fully automated, maybe the U.K. should buy a copy - same law style (unlike the Continent).

Even Plod has computer terminals only they take LONGER to complete arrest documentation than was the case with hand-filled forms.

0
0
FAIL

False Assumptions

Where does it say it was a totally bespoke solution? If you don't know the facts there's no point ranting about it.

0
0
Gold badge
Happy

Menalaus, AC@12:00, JaitcH

Menalaus

"The real issue here is that a government agency has wasted everyone's money - private as well as public - on a procurement when they didn't even have the money approved in the first place."

And you know this because?

AC@12:00

"Actually SFO do have a number of issues that most other case management users don't, which exceed the capability of most case management systems."

Which suggests that they don't exceed the capabilities of *some* such systems.

I've some awareness of what a case management system does and some awareness of how big a court case can get (IBM Vs US DoJ. Several million pages of documentation). Only someone who was totally ignorant of the requirments of a large court case (I believe most SFO cases are large) would mistake a CRM system for a case management system.

Case management systems are *not* mass market software. It actually takes *effort* to locate suppliers, although I hear an entry in the OJEU usually gets they coming out of the woodwork.

Of course if *all* your data is currently stored in a proprietary format controlled by one supplier then migrating that data to *anything* is indeed a totally unique requirement.

The annoyed tone of my post was driven by the *unthinking* almost unconsiouss assumption which has surfaced in many government IT projects (the MoD seems to specialise in it) that

only something written from the ground up or *heavily* moded (from whatever the supplier happens to have in their cupboard) will do the job.

My suspicion is that more time in market survey with a clearer understanding of what the problem *is* would have avoided this.

Reading between the lines this will be a classic face saving "We have reviewed the project and decided to de-scope it in order to meet budget and schedule requirments."

As others have pointed out their requirements are not *that* unique. What does the DoJ use? What do the law firms SFO defendants hire use?

JaitcH

"Canadian Courts are fully automated, maybe the U.K. should buy a copy - same law style (unlike the Continent)."

If nothing has changed since I last looked the UK court IT arrangements have been FUBAR for years. This is a sideshow in comparision.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums