In the Media

Key offender management IT system facing delays

PUBLISHED August 19, 2006

A pilot of the government?s National Offender Management Service?s IT system, C-NOMIS ? trailed as a vital improvement to the criminal justice system ? has been delayed, the Gazette has learned.

This will push back the launch of the system, which was due to go live at the beginning of 2007. The news comes in the wake of the inquiry into the killing of Zahid Mubarek, which found shortcomings in the flow of information about offenders and said C-NOMIS could eliminate many of them.

The Home Office blamed an inability to get C-NOMIS to interface with the Inmate Information System which, it says, is the central database into which the current Prison Service database feeds information.

C-NOMIS is intended to link the prison and probation services with the police and the court system. In June, Mike Manisty, director of C-NOMIS, said it was essential in breaking the cycle of reoffending.

Seven weeks is the delay quoted by the Home Office, but it could be longer. ?We are not racing against the clock,? said a spokeswoman. ?We want to be satisfied that the interface between the current and C- NOMIS systems functions correctly.?

The decision to delay and run further testing appears to have been taken after the date by which the pilot was meant to begin. The pilot was due to start in July, but the Home Office said the decision was ?formalised? on 1 August.

C-NOMIS is being provided by EDS, an IT company well-known to followers of government IT projects. EDS said in a statement that C-NOMIS was still ?on track to complete in 2008?, although it did not specify when.