Siemens will come under fire next month for running a year late in its implementation of the #163.77 million Home Office case management system.
The troubled development of the case processing system for the Home Office's Immigration and Nationality Directorate by Siemens is examined in a confidential National Audit Office (NAO) draft report which has been examined by Computing.
The delays, described as "a matter for concern" in the report, mean that the backlog of asylum cases - at a record 45,000 - is "likely to rise."
Siemens should have completed the development in October 1998, but piloting will now start this July and is likely to take six months.
The company is thought to have paid an unspecified sum in compensation.
This is described in the NAO report as a "commercial agreement relating, inter alia, to the mitigation of wasted expenditure during the period of delivery."
The report raises fears that the casework system will not be complete before the millennium. The NAO warns: "Many of the IT systems are not compliant with year 2000 requirements."
Siemens said it could not comment while the NAO inquiry was not published.
News of Siemens' woes emerged in the week of the Commons inquiry into the national insurance database development by Andersen Consulting. Siemens is under threat of investigation by parliament.
The delays to both developments, funded under the private finance initiative (PFI), have led a disappointed auditor to draft a seven-point best-practice checklist for PFI projects. Top of the list is a simple warning against overambition on the part of purchasing departments.
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