Statement from the PAC Chair on NAO report on FiReControl

01 July 2011


A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:

This report on FiReControl is in a league of its own. The project has been a monumental failure from start to finish. The report details a catalogue of mismanagement, including a seemingly careless approach to fundamental elements such as costing and IT system design. Moreover, the key people needed to make the project a success – the local Fire Services – were alienated and unconvinced of the benefits.

Both I and my colleagues will have some tough questions for the Department for Communities and Local Government when it comes before us on Wednesday next week. With the estimated cost of the project ballooning from £120 million to four times as much, whilst running at least 5 years behind schedule, why did it take so long to put this project out of its misery and scrap it?

We will want to know how the Department got into this mess and why taxpayers will be saddled with a burden of at least £469 million. All they will have to show for it are nine white elephants - purpose built regional control centres which nobody wants and no one is likely to use, but which will continue to waste taxpayers’ money for the next 20 years.

The report is available to read on the National Audit Office website

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