In other changes, Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill has been asked to revamp its "inadequate" IT systems
So that makes another government department with a crap IT system! There have been some monumental IT failures in recent years both at the Home Office and Ministry of Justice, including our very own aborted C-NOMIS intended as a universal case recording system. It didn't work, cost a fortune and each probation service opted for differing systems such as CRAMS, ICMS or Delius.
With impending privatisation of probation, clearly someone at the MoJ thought a standard case recording system would be a good idea and it's intended to roll out nDelius (n for national) to all service's shortly. Clearly a reliable, universal and efficient IT system is crucial to the success of privatisation, so how's it doing? The following is one person's experience, and it doesn't look promising:-
In a word `chaos.' No one knows what they are doing. For example, to add a contact you run a national search then when you have found the person you must not click on `add contact', No you have to click on `view' then contact log, then scroll right down to the bottom of the page and then you can click on the other `add contact' button and click click click again.
To make it more complicated the Delius page is designed for a wider screen so it does not fit on a square computer screen so you have to keep moving the page around to see what is in the corners.
When making a contact you can only see 4 lines of what you are typing. Then when you have made a contact there is no button to add the next appointment, Oh no, you have to do the whole search again and programme the next appointment in, around 20 clicks of the mouse, it gives you repetitive strain injury.
If you want to send a letter, god help you, you might as well write it by hand as that would be quicker, I have been shown how to build a letter 4 times but still loose the letter every time. And if you dare to want to see a letter that has migrated over that is nearly impossible as all migrated documents are named, wait for it as `migrated documents', so unless you know the date you sent it you cannot find it.
Then if you want to breach some one it is such a complicated process that only those with a PHD in computing science are able to do it. The OGRS score is hidden deep in the recess of events, and the actual order is not clearly shown.
Flags are not clear and some DV perpetrators migrated over as DV victims! Caseloads are not accurate ie I had 40 cases pre Delius, but now appear to have 22, the 18 others have just migrated to random people who have had something to do with them at some time in the past.
Delerius - it is not fit for purpose and feels like we have been given a case record system from the eighties, Remember when you had to press all the function buttons? Beaumont Colson have a lot of work to do to get it more user-friendly. Lets hope they are paid lots for all their effort.
The problems will be highlighted when there is an SFO and then the managers will have to try and decipher what has been going on with the case. Can't wait until you get it and see what you have to say.
Beaumont Colson are the designers of nDelius and this is what they say about it:-
In 2009 a new, national Delius system, was commissioned by the MoJ and BCL's development of this system was completed in late 2012.
The National Delius application is a browser based, national probation service case management system, designed to include the required probation business logic and appropriate security, and will be rolled-out across England and Wales during 2013.
A large part of the work in delivering National Delius has involved the preparation of migration tools - required to move existing legacy data from a number of different types of case management system. Current migration successes demonstrate our capacity to manage this activity through a standard, repeatable process. There is clear potential for these techniques to be applied in any project concerned with the mapping and movement of data between systems.
No hint of any problems there. In the end history tells us that it's crap IT systems that often frustrate the aspirations of government, so it's as well all those prospective bidders for our work know what they are in for. Yes you guessed it guys, the IT really is crap. The system often 'crashes.' The servers can't cope. It's regularly on a 'go slow' and you regularly lose your work.
Sign the No10 petition here..