MoD's DII over budget, needs action to speed rollout

The Ministry of Defence needs to take ‘further concerted action’ to speed up the delivery of the Defence Information Infrastructure programme, which will be millions over budget, according to the National Audit Office.

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) needs to take ‘further concerted action’ to speed up the delivery of the Defence Information Infrastructure programme, which is both late and £185 million over budget, according to the National Audit Office.

In a report on the Defence Information Infrastructure programme (DII), the National Audit Office warned that the MoD has to roll out more than 6,000 computer terminals a month, double the highest average to date, if it is to meet its revised timetable.

What's more, delays to the Ministry of Defence's programme to replace hundreds of computer systems with a single, secure infrastructure has led to cost overruns of £182 million, the NAO said.

The DII programme aims to replace 300 legacy systems with a single infrastructure to improve communication. Some 300,000 users in 2,000 defence sites, including ships, will be able to access applications and information via web browsers so that sensitive information is not stored on PCs.

The original costs of the DII programme were pegged at £4.9 billion, but the report revealed a further £2.2 billion for DII-related programmes and departmental overheads, that bring the costs to almost £7.1 billion.

The project is being delivered by Atlas, an EDS-led consortium that also includes Fujitsu, EADS, Logica and General Dynamics. Some £959 million had been paid to suppliers so far, according to the auditors, and the government had calculated benefits of £916 million to date.

Two key elements, the rollout of terminals and key software, were running “significantly late”, the NAO said in the report.

Under half of the terminals that should have been delivered are now in use, the NAO said. While 62,800 computer terminals were due to be in place at permanent defence sites by the end of this month, only 28,000 had been delivered at the end of April.

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