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Saville inquiry "has been a disaster" – who knew?

Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees the publication of the Saville Report, following the long-running inquiry into the Bloody Sunday shootings in Northern Ireland in 1972. The report's findings are outside the scope of this blog however we are interested to see that this is proving to be yet another government/legal IT disaster from the organisational point of view. The hearings started 12 years ago and the budget for running the inquiry went up from an original estimate of £10 million to a final total of £191 million. (You could have given the families of every one of the 14 people who died – 13 died on the day, another died later from their injuries – £10 million each and still had £50m spare to buy better equipment from the troops in Afghanistan.)

The new Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has already called the inquiry a “disaster in terms of time and expense” adding that it had got “ludicrously out of hand” and saying that he was “anxiously considering” how future inquiries should be held. Legal IT consultant Neil Cameron commented on Twitter earlier today that whatever the authorities have been spending money on, it certainly wasn't web servers as you only get a “connect time out” error message when you try to access the inquiry website. (The Inquiry IT is clearly another candidate for a No Award.)