Independent review of Crawley council’s data centre relocation problems is planned

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Crawley Borough Council plans to appoint an independent reviewer to find out why the relocation of its data centre has taken one year and hundreds of thousands of pounds more than planned.

In 2015, after a fire destroyed the offices of South Oxfordshire District Council, Crawley made plans to protect its own data from such a disaster by hosting it elsewhere.

The Surrey Business Centre was chosen, as part of a partnership agreement with Surrey County Council.

The work was expected to take six to nine months, on a capital budget of £209,000 and £63,300 per year revenue.

In July, it was reported that the work had still not been completed and the costs, as of May 31, stood at more than £700,000. In addition, the project management arrangements  were found to be weak. 

At the time, Peter Lamb, leader of the council, called the report ‘a wake-up call’.

Since then, progress has been made and a recent meeting of the audit committee heard that 90 per cent of the servers had been migrated and 94 per cent of the applications.

Members were told that work was on target to be finished by February 2019 and that a ‘post-implementation review’ would take place once the move was complete.

Richard Burrett (Con, Pound Hill North) asked for assurances that it would be a ‘warts-and-all independent review from someone outside the organisation to actually look at what happened’.