The Integrated Enquiry Service was designed to provide a file on the welfare payments made to each individual in Britain. All agencies involved would have been able to share information.
But six pilot schemes in Manchester, Leeds, Teesdale, Guildford, Canterbury and South Ayrshire have ended in 'disaster' after a year of costly training and installation of expensive equipment.
Last August a£200m contract was awarded to a consortium called Affinity, led by American company EDS, founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot. Developing IES was just part of Affinity's 10-year contract under the public finance intiative/public partnerships.
He estimated around£10m had been wasted. The problem had been trying to integrate all computers in a large number of different locations. Another problem was that benefit regulations changed so often the software package would have to be changed to keep up - and that would further add to the cost.