General Register Office

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

Registry Office System – UK
Date :
Mar 2007    Cost :$12M

Synopsis :
New system to register births, marriages and deaths across the UK purchased from a US company and adapted for use in the UK.  Implementation results in chaos when system cannot handle volume of data being processed.  Registry offices officially told to abandon the system after just 2 months of use.  The “robustness and functionality” of the system had been questioned before its launch, but concerns raised by operational staff were dismissed rather than being addressed prior to the production roll-out.

Contributing factors as reported in the press :
Volume related performance problems.  Data being “lost” after it has been entered.  Some features from the US version that were not applicable in the UK environment remained a part of the design.

Reference links :

  1. Chaos as registry offices are told to abandon computer system
  2. Registry office meltdown