National Offender Management Service

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.


National Offender Management Service – UK
Project type : Integrated offender management system
Project name : C-NOMIS
Date : Mar 2009 Cost :$375M

Synopsis :
Efforts to integrate prison and probation systems from different local authorities into one national system fail.  Despite a two year delay and life-cycle costs that have risen from $375M to $1.1B the UK’s National Audit Office reports that although the project will still deliver some benefits, “the key aim of creating a single database of offenders directly accessible by prison, probation and third party intervention providers responsible for offenders from sentencing through to resettlement will not be met”.

Contributing factors as reported in the press:
Underestimation of complexity.  Green-shifting (failure to report project’s true status to governance levels of the project). Inadequate project oversight.  Poor project management, lack of planning, lack of financial controls and failure to establish appropriate change control processes. Failure to address business process change in parallel with system development. Poor supplier management practices.

Reference links :

  1. C-Nomis Prison IT system guilty of ‘basic’ project management failures
  2. National Audit Office (NAO) reference page for C-NOMIS