IT Projects

Education and Skills written question – answered on 3rd November 2005.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list for each IT project her Department has undertaken since May 1997 which has incurred a total expenditure of £5 million or more (a) the name of the project, (b) its intended purpose, (c) the principal contractors involved and the payments made to each, (d) the original estimate of the cost of the project, (e) the actual outturn of expenditure on the project, (f) the intended date on which the project was to be fully implemented, (g) the actual date on which it was fully implemented or cancelled, (h) modifications which have been made to the project since it was first commissioned, (i) contractors on the project whose contracts have been cancelled, (j) replacement or additional contractors on the project, (k) the most reliable estimate of public expenditure saved as a result of implementing the project and (l) the most reliable estimates of improved performance of departmental functions as a result of implementing the project.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Children and Families)

The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills. To respond fully would involve an extensive internal and external information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold.

To be helpful, current departmental records show that the following nine live ICT-enabled programmes and projects each exceed or will exceed a total expenditure of £5 million. Also included in the list are details of the Department's individual learning account (ILA) programme which has previously been subject to scrutiny by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts Committee 1 , and UK e-university project which has previously been subject to scrutiny by the House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee 2 . The list is not exhaustive. Expenditure does not include DfES staff and associated costs.

1 House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts (2003), individual learning accounts, Tenth Report of Session 2002–03 (Ref: HC 544), TSO, London.

2 House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee (2005), UK e-university, Third Report of Session 2004–05 (Ref: HC 205), TSO, London.

Project name Intended purpose Cost or estimated cost
Individual learning accounts (ILAs) To widen participation in learning and to help overcome financial barriers faced by individuals (especially those with -accounts particular learning or skill needs). (Introduced in England in September 2000, the ILA scheme was successful in attracting over one million people back into learning. However, in November 2001, the Government withdrew it following allegations of fraud and abuse.) Total expenditure is likely to exceed £290 million against a budget of £199 million. (The scale of fraud and abuse is estimated at £97 million, including £67 million fraud.)
UK e-university To provide internet-based UK higher education to an expanding global market. £50 million
IS index project To deliver a solution to facilitate contact between practitioners from different services and agencies which will, in turn, enable them to share information appropriately and securely for the benefit of children, young people and families. Estimated one-off implementation costs £225 million over three-five years. Ongoing annual operational costs estimated at £64 million per annum thereafter.
Strategic technologies and value for schools programme To reduce risk and create a more coherent approach to ICT procurement and provision in schools. £431 million capital £140 million revenue, plus programme costs approx £12 million over three-year (£10.5 million Becta, £1.5 million DfES)
Student support modernisation programme To modernise student support arrangements for England and Wales Estimated £15 million.
Project name Intended purpose Cost or estimated cost
Key Stage 3 ICT assessment programme To develop and implement an onscreen test of pupils' ICT capability at the end of Key Stage 3, and ensure schools' readiness to administer the test. £29 million.
Change for children programme To enable children and young people to receive the universal services they are entitled to and any additional services they need at the earliest opportunity. Estimate: £250–300 million development/implementation costs, £60 million P/A running costs.
SLC academic year 06/07 delivery programme New IT system to modernise Student Loans Company" business processes and enhance delivery of student finance to customers. £14.635 million.
Teacher development agency customer communication service programme Provision of a service to convert eligible enquirers into applicants for initial teacher training. £9 million.
Electronic data and records management system (EDRMS) DfES (Internal) electronic records management system. Up to £5.93 million.
Bichard bvetting and barring scheme To design a vetting and barring scheme that meets the requirements of recommendation 19 of the Bichard Inquiry at an appropriate cost, with implementation in 2007.To reduce the incidence of harm to children and vulnerable adults by those who work with them by identifying and removing those known to be unsuitable from the workforce. £18.1 million for implementation (2005/06 to

2007/08). Long-term funding arrangements for operation of the scheme to be agreed with OGDs.

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