Friday, 26 June 2009

Regionalisation continues......slowly

In the past there was lots of discussion and possible controversy over the establishment of regional control rooms for the Fire and Rescue services. However, it's all gone quiet recently since the system, which will link all fire and rescue control centres via nine regional hubs and will cost £380m, was meant to be completed by the end of 2007.

According to a Public net briefing A series of delays had pushed back the deadline for a national roll out to spring 2012 but leaked documents have now revealed that the program faces a further 10 months delay, meaning the new system will not be on line for the start of the 2012 Olympic Games.

One justification for the Regional Centers was improved ability to respond to and control major incidents such as terrorist attacks. The Olympic Games of course being a target for such attacks. The government deemed the project vital to security and our resilience to a terrorist attack. They have spent over a billion pounds of taxpayers' money to supposedly make them safer. Unfortunately its now going to take over five years, and counting, for it to be completed.

According to the Fire Brigades Union the project is in "meltdown" and unless the network was working by the summer of 2011, it would not be tested enough to work effectively for the 2012 games. The whole project was difficult to justify in the first place and the options being looked at to continue it appear to be the last gasp of civil servants desperate to justify their previous recommendations. According to the Union spokesman the government need to take the opportunity to look at this project afresh and end it now. This will give the fire service certainty and end the anxiety being caused to control room staff. The only real option is keeping and upgrading our existing fire controls and getting the new digital radio system in place.

The government's response was that schedules for projects of this kind are kept under constant review. The department's focus is making sure the benefits of this project are delivered to the fire and rescue service and the public.

Just another massive government IT project that has failed! and these are the people who want to give us a national identity data base! If it wasn't so pathetic it would be laughable.

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