The first of the
Big Brother card and database schemes (of which there are many) has finally
Always punted as
the poor entrant to the NIR the youth opportunity card will not now see the
light of day.
It appears that
an early assessment of progress has caused the DfES to scrap the scheme before
it even got off the ground.
The statement obtained by PSF, which the DfES said was public
anyway, said the project had been scrapped after an assessment of its costs,
benefits and risks, although searching the DfES website finds no record of any
Known as the
youth opportunity card, it was introduced as one of a raft of
measures designed to help wayward kids back on the straight and narrow, as part
of the government's Respect Action Plan and Every Child Matters programmes.
Forums (PSF) said it learned of the scheme's demise from a memo leaked from the
Department for Education and Skills (DfES), which was supposed to pilot the
system with 10 local authorities over two years from autumn 2006.
However, the DfES
said in a statement that it realised last summer it might have trouble seeing
its plans through because there was no off-the-shelf technology it could use to
run the youth card.
“It is clear
that the costs for the delivery infrastructure would far outweigh the money
that would end up in the hands of the young people whom we are trying to
is probably the most sensible thing that I have heard come out of the DfES in
now this government will realise that the way to deal with our youth is to talk
to them, and more importantly deal with the social and economic issues that
bedevil many areas of Britain, not just stick them on
Perhaps we should also be asking for our money back from Accenture, the Consultancy group that proposed the idea in the first place, before spending millions of our money on them only to find out that there was not the technology to support it.
The first of the card and database schemes to be scrapped, this is a small move in the right direction, but the bigger, more expensive schemes such as the National Identity Register, the NHS Care Records System, e-bookings and the overall NHS NPfIT programme are the ones that really need the scrutiny and eventual closure of the projects.