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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ten government IT projects hit 'red light' status

Whitehall has revealed some details of its 10 most 'at-risk' IT projects, following a Freedom of Information request. The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has released details of IT projects found to be most at risk across Whitehall, but is keeping the projects' identities secret.
The OGC has listed 10 IT projects to receive consecutive red lights under its Gateway Review process which checks for signs of failure during an initiative's development.
In response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Government Computing News, the OGC revealed that over the last three months, two IT projects have received consecutive red lights. However, it would not give details of their identities.
The two projects are in addition to eight IT initiatives revealed by the National Audit Office in November last year to have received consecutive red lights. The 10 represent IT projects which the OGC is most concerned about. According to the OGC's official guidance, a red signifies that "remedial action" must be taken immediately - although it does not necessarily mean that a project must be stopped.
The OGC revealed the stages at which the projects had received a second red. One project received two reds at 'gate zero', while the others were given between gates one and four. Gate zero is the initial sanity check for a project. It assesses the funding, leadership and purpose of an initiative.
Two initiatives failed at gate four, which means they were unready for service after earlier stages of development.
The OGC refused to release further details as it judged the "public interest in disclosure was significantly outweighed by the public interest in non-disclosure".
In justifying its decision to withhold information, the OGC said: "An important general consideration in the balancing exercise was the clear public interest in maintaining the integrity of the Gateway Process as an effective and prompt peer review process producing reports based on candid interviews for the benefit of Senior Responsible Owners and which has led to demonstrable VFM [value for money] gains.
"Gate interviewees must be able to be candid about matters which could lead to serious recommendations being made to the Senior Responsible Owner of the projects/programmes. This would particularly be the case with the recommendations and RAG [red, amber, green] statuses that you have requested.",39024677,39128275,00.htm


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