28 Jun 2019
The SNP’s failure to properly implement public sector IT contracts has cost the taxpayer more than £250 million in recent years, new analysis has revealed.
Botched contracts across the police, health service and other quangos has led to the public purse having to write off a total of £257 million.
It follows revelations this week that the SNP government’s pensions body will need £23 million in cash following to collapse of an IT deal with firm Capita.
The infamous fiasco with CAP payments for farmers saw costs balloon from £50 million to £129 million – costing taxpayers an additional £79 million.
The bungled process to sort out NHS 24’s IT system saw a £75.8 million process turn into an expected £131 million – an extra £55.2 million.
And Police Scotland’s new computer system has come in £100 million more than initially planned, now totalling £300 million.
More minor costs to public finances include and extra £440,000 for a Scottish Prison Service Procurement System; £120,000 on a Skills Development Scotland online scheme; and £150,000 in staff overtime costs for the chaos surrounding the CAP payments project for Scottish Government staff.
Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said:
“It would be unrealistic to expect every major IT project to be completed on time and on budget, especially when large organisations are involved.
“But the fact this series of blunders has cost the taxpayer more than £250 million shows just how negligent the SNP has been.
“Nationalist ministers have spent years pleading poverty – slashing public services and hiking taxes as a consequence.
“But a more competent approach to these schemes could have saved the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds, and spared some of the subsequent misery.
“The SNP cannot blame anyone else for this record of financial recklessness. It’s been in charge for 12 years, and must take full responsibility.”