A social services IT project costing more than £4 million has been criticised for poor management and spiralling costs.
The incomplete Scottish Social Services Council’s IT project has been run by three firms in the last year and is expected to come in at least £1 million over budget.
The Auditor General warned the Government-funded project is not delivering value for money, lacks a proper business case and does not have a costed budget.
In a report to the Scottish Parliament, Caroline Gardner said the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) scheme “lacked clarity”.
The under-fire project was started because of a split from the Care Inspectorate in a bid to pursue a separate IT strategy, but the SSSC’s attempts have “lacked good governance and transparent decision-making”, according to the Auditor General.
Ms Gardner said: “The SSSC has fallen short of the standards I would expect around governance and transparency – first around its decision to end the shared services agreement, and then through the implementation of a new digital strategy and the management of that project.
“The SSSC’s planning, reporting and monitoring were inadequate. Effective scrutiny is central to making the best use of public money, but not enough information was provided at the right levels of governance at each stage of the project.”
Convener of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee, Jenny Marra MSP, said: “It’s concerning to see the Scottish Social Services Council’s management of a major ICT project — expected to cost at least £4.1 million — lacked good governance and transparency.
“Our Committee will look closely at this report and the plans the SSSC has to resolve these issues.”