British spooks MI5 have fired some of its IT consultants firm after it failed to meet deadlines to implement the new intelligence-checking system.
The consultants were supposed to come up with a computer system to help MI5 officers carry out secret searches on suspects, including those who may pose a threat at the Olympics.
But the software was not ready to be safely trialled before the games.
The new ‘electronic records management’ system was supposed to bring together all MI5 intelligence material, so officers could carry out complete searches of old and current records.
This would allow them to finger a terror suspect who had been dormant or had been hiding for a while.
The project cost more than a million but had all sorts of teething troubles.
Jonathan Evans, director-general of the security service, is already miffed that a number of costly IT security contracts have been spiked.
Whitehall said that that the decision to postpone introducing the system until after the Olympics was ‘taken some time ago’ on the grounds that it would be too risky to introduce new software just before the Olympics.
According to the Daily Mail Evans is quoted as saying it was a fair criticism to say there were some cases where using consultants and contractors wasn’t as controlled as it should. He said he has fixed that problem now.