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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 December 2007, 09:52 GMT
UK has 'way to go' on IT strategy
Gordon Brown
Mr Brown is being questioned by the Commons liaison committee
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the government has a "long way to go" on its IT strategy.

He told Commons committee chairmen that public and private firms had to come to terms with IT security issues.

Andrew Miller, chairman of Parliament's IT body Pitcom, said seven out of ten projects had failed and there were questions over the rollout of ID cards.

Earlier it emerged that IT problems meant criminals were being let off paying money to help victims.

I don't think we are alone
Gordon Brown
Prime minister

All criminals in England and Wales should pay a 15 "victims' surcharge" towards services, but a computer system, launched in April, only recognises those who are fined.

Magistrates also say a new multi-million pound Libra computer system being rolled out to magistrates' courts cannot process the information needed for the surcharge.

The PM is being grilled by MPs on the Commons liaison committee - a collection of chairmen of all Commons committees.

'Care and security'

Mr Miller said the government had committed to publishing an IT strategy for government that would focus on the needs of citizens and business - and questioned whether it had been a success.

"We've got a long way to go," admitted Mr Brown.

He said security issues and the "proper organisation of data" remained a challenge and said "better systems" were needed.

Mr Miller said it had been claimed seven out of ten projects had failed and serious questions had been raised about contract management and the roll-out of the controversial ID cards system.

Mr Brown said the events of recent months had shown how "care and security" over people's information was incredibly important.

He said every country in the world recognised a lot more had to be done to make sure computerisation and IT was efficiently used in the future.

"I don't think we are alone," he said.

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