After reading the following shocker in Dick Eastman’s email newsletter, I’m tempted to ask:
Does anyone out there know of a complex digital archiving system that has actually improved access to government information?
Anyone at all?
The (London) Times newspaper has reported that hundreds of register offices across the United Kingdom have been ordered to abandon a new online system for recording births, deaths, and marriages in the latest IT fiasco to hit the government. The Times reports that the huge IT project has met with “complete system failure,” and online registration has been suspended in half of the 3,000 offices.
Despite previous assurances that the system would be able to cope with the demand, it appears that the £6 million (roughly $12 million US) computer system has failed miserably. The situation is reminiscent of the problems faced by the National Archives with the 1901 census.
The new system had been phased in over a period of months. When the last offices were added in March, the new system almost ground to a halt. Officers said that its performance was so slow that it was unusable. When IT staff tried to sort it out, they found it could not reliably save data.
You can read more about this fiasco on the Times web site http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article1739313.ece
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