Failure of €37m e-government Reach project criticised by Labour

 

LABOUR YESTERDAY said the Government decision to scrap the Reach e-government project was one of a “litany of failures” in high-profile information technology undertakings.

The Reach project was developed to provide an integrated social services system.

However, it went three-times over budget, was delayed by more than a year and cost €15 million a year to run.

A report by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General showed the project was envisaged as a single website portal for citizens to access all Government services. There were delays and the final expenditure was €37 million, almost three times more than the €14 million envisaged.

“Ongoing costs are expected to be in the region of €14-€15 million a year,” said the report. The CAG criticised the absence of a feasibility assessment, weak planning and unrealistic expectations.

Labour’s spokeswoman on communications Liz McManus yesterday said: “It is the latest example of the Government’s botched attempts at modernising access to public services.” She said 23 of the 141 flagship projects to provide Government services were abandoned and proposals took 25 per cent longer to complete than planned.

“Where the most vulnerable in society are being hit by Budget cutbacks, the waste of taxpayers’ money . . . is incredible.”