Council leader Steve Count explains how IT failures could have compromised Ofsted inspections and cost Cambridgeshire County Council £560,000 in man hours in one month

PUBLISHED: 17:23 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:23 30 March 2017

Council leader Steve Count revealed the losses in a written answer to Councillor Mike Mason at this weeks meeting of the county council in Cambridge.

Council leader Steve Count revealed the losses in a written answer to Councillor Mike Mason at this weeks meeting of the county council in Cambridge.

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Details have emerged of major IT failures within Cambridgeshire County Council that may have compromised schools Ofsted inspections and in one month alone could have cost the authority £560,000 in wasted man hours.

Council leader Steve Count revealed the losses in a written answer to Councillor Mike Mason at this week’s meeting of the county council in Cambridge.

Cllr Count, explaining the use of consultants to remedy the problems, said:”The recent position of multiple failures across the IT estate could not be allowed to continue.

“Aside from the inevitable user frustration and stress it is estimated that approximately 20 hours were being lost on a monthly basis due to system wide failures.

“Using an average salary of £25,000 including on costs and an indicative average of 2,000 concurrent users across Cambridgeshire County Council, the hourly cost of productivity is approximately £26,000.

“This means that the total cost in productivity was approximately £560,000 in November 2016 alone when the organisation experienced a major outage over a number of days.”

The council leader said that these figures were before they factored in the costs that are incurred as a direct result of users not being able to system systems, eg not being able to discharge hospital patients.

Cllr Count said: “It is difficult to directly attribute a value to reputational damage but this is likely to manifest itself in Ofsted inspections that were taking place during system failures.”

He said the county council had lost confidence in the ability of the IT department of LGSS (the shared service jointly owned by the council with Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire councils) to provide a stable IT service to end users locally.

“The council is seeking to take back a degree of control in order to improve the stability of our core IT platform,” said Cllr Count.

V4 a consultancy employed by the council is looking to improve IT and many other services, he said, as part of a transformation programme.

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