View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
March 7, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 7:40am

Government’s failed e-Borders will take a further 8 years and cost more than £1bn

News: The programme was scheduled to be completed by 2019.

By CBR Staff Writer

A Public Accounts Committee report has criticized the UK Home Office on the botched e-borders programme, saying that the project will end up costing £1bn and delivered eight years late.

In the report, the MPs Committee has also warned that the programme will not deliver the desired benefit.

The e-borders scheme was initially launched in 2003 to keep a track of all passengers transiting in and out of the UK within 10 years.

Primary intention of the programme was to improve border security by collecting data of passengers who enter the country by air, rail and sea by gathering and processing data on them before they reach the border.

The programme was dogged by controversies and problems before it was terminated in 2014, in its current form.

The Home Office initially entered into a contract with US-based technology and defence company Raytheon in 2007, but this was terminated in July 2010 citing that the company failed to reach milestones.

Following the termination of the deal the Home office had to pay £150m in settlement charges to Raytheon and spend £35m on legal costs.

Content from our partners
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline
How hackers’ tactics are evolving in an increasingly complex landscape

The committee said in its report: "It is now five years since the e-Borders contract was cancelled yet the capabilities delivered so far still fall short of what was originally envisaged. Since 2010 the Major Projects Authority has issued seven warnings about these programmes.

"The Department’s complacency about progress to date increases our concerns about whether the programme will be completed by 2019 as the Department now promises, and whether tangible benefits for border security, transport carriers and passengers will result."

Major reasons for the delay is the cancellation of the deal with Raytheon under which the company was to deliver its own solution to meet the Department’s objectives to a fixed price and timescale which ‘turned out to be unrealistic’.

Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier said: "This is an important Report, revealing a history of poor management and a worrying complacency about its impact on taxpayers.

"It is accepted that successful completion of this project is essential to the security of our international borders. Yet the original target date has long passed and we are still at least three years away from delivery. The stop, start approach has cost the taxpayer dear."

"I am careful to say ‘at least’ three years from delivery because we are not convinced warnings about the progress of this project have been treated with sufficient gravity, nor that sufficient action has been taken to prevent a repeat of past problems."

Following the cancellation of the deal with Raytheon, the Home Office has implemented successor programmes, including the Border Systems Programme and Digital Services at the Border, which has already cost £830m, as of March 2015.

The committee has concluded that the Home Office "does not have a clear picture of the management information it has or needs to manage the UK border" and frequent changes in management have added to the worry.

The PAC committee said that the officials are dismissive about the delay despite seven warnings issued by Major Projects Authority since 2010.

The Committee criticised the department saying : "It is difficult to understand where this confidence comes from, given the lengthy delays and continual warnings of ongoing management issues, which gives us cause for concern about the future prospects for this programme which is vital to national security."

Since 2012, the Home Office’s Border Force directorate is responsible for operating the borders and previously it was being managed by UK Border Agency and the Home Office.

A UK Home Office spokesman was quoted by BBC as saying that the programme is a "top priority" and "we are investing heavily in our systems to tackle the threat from terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration".

"Every passenger crossing our control points into the UK is checked against a range of watch-lists and the UK passport is among the most secure in the world."

 

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU