The UK government is to replace a failed multimillion pound database to track violent criminals as part of a new IT strategy for the National Probation Service (NPS).
Development of the NPS Case Records and Management System (Crams) was halted last year following criticism from the National Audit Office about the delayed and over-budget project.
Probation officers found the Unix-based system difficult to use and were concerned that it failed to link into other agencies.
Robin Pape, head of IT at the NPS, said that Crams will be scrapped in two years' time. "We can't get rid of it instantly and its functionality is still much-used in some areas," he said.
"There will be a whole new suite of software which replaces Crams. We won't have one single piece of software but we will replace its functionality incrementally."
Costs on Crams and the NPS Information Systems Strategy, both developed by Bull Information Systems, spiralled to £118m at the end of 2001, 70 per cent higher than the Home Office's original forecast when the project began in 1995.
Pape explained that the NPS is working on joint applications with agencies to provide functionality that Crams was unable to deliver.
For example it is working with the police service on a database of sex offenders to be piloted this year.
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