Flaws in the Home Office’s new accounting software were principally to blame for its failure to keep timely and accurate accounts.
This is the finding of a report by the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO), which revealed that, following an inspection in early 2005, it had voiced its fears to the Home Office concerning the system, but was ignored.
As a result the Home Office encountered numerous delays in compiling its accounts which were ultimately handed to the NAO ten weeks late and riddled with inconsistencies. Principal amongst these was the loss of GBP3 million amongst the records, which forced the Home Office to reallocate substantial funds to cover the loss.
The NAO also noted that the IT failures had been compounded by the inadequate training received by the staff and the Home Office’s slow response when the failures became evident.