Magazine article Public Finance

ONS Has to Drop Odyssey Programme and Hold Up Changes

Magazine article Public Finance

ONS Has to Drop Odyssey Programme and Hold Up Changes

Article excerpt

The Office for National Statistics has been forced to abandon its flagship Odyssey modernisation programme, admitting that planned changes to the national accounts and household surveys will take years longer than expected.

Last year, the ONS was forced to suspend part of the National Accounts Blue Book because of problems introducing a new computer system as part of the ?75m Odyssey programme. The ONS has now conceded that the simultaneous introduction of new methods and IT systems was 'too challenging' to meet the deadline for this year's Blue Book and would now be phased in over a number of years'.

The wider Odyssey programme, covering a number of projects, had been extremely challenging' and had ceased to exist' in April, the agency's 2007/08 annual report revealed.

A project to introduce a new Survey Case Management System - underpinning the planned integration of five employment, population and expenditure surveys - had experienced serious resourcing difficulties' and would need 'much longer timescales', the report said.

An ONS spokeswoman said: 'The original plan for the introduction of the new case management system was September 2006, and it is now planned to introduce it in stages, with full implementation by the end of 2009/10. …

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