New IT Printing System

Please provide the following information on the above:-

a) The tender procedure for this ‘new’ system (as reported in the press this week).

b) The financial cost, including staff time.

c) Who had budgetary responsibility?

d) Who had operational responsibility?

e) How long was the ‘beta’ test system evaluated, and who was responsible for signing it off?

f) If this system has been contracted out, what financial claim has DCC filed for its failure?

The Council does not hold information in relation to the specific questions raised. An explanation is provided below:

A full investigation has been undertaken into how a sub-standard letter came to be issued to members of the public by the Council.

The letter concerned was a standard template letter to be sent to multiple recipients. Due to a glitch in our automatic mail-merge system these letters suddenly appeared wrongly formatted and had characters missing when printed. This fault could not be rectified and so the whole letter was re-keyed back into the system (using Crystal Reports). Unfortunately the test version contained a number of typing errors which were not picked up and the test version was incorrectly despatched.

This was an embarrassing error and we subsequently apologised to all those that received the letter. Lessons have been learned and measures have been put in place to ensure this cannot happen again.

The County Council has used the mail merge system successfully for over 10 years for all its automated mail functions. No similar incident has been reported during this time.