The MPA, which is part of the Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group, was established to support and report on the Government Major Projects Portfolio, which covers over 200 Whitehall projects, many of which are technology-based.
The organisation's annual report is intended to provide an update on the government's progress on delivering important projects and ranks each project in a traffic light system based on whether it will be delivered on time and to budget as planned.
Projects deemed to be running as planned are green, whilst those where successful delivery seems impossible are given the red rating, with a variety of ratings in between.
According to the report, four IT projects have been given the red status: NHS care.data, the NHS Choices website, the NHS Health and Social Care Network and the National Offender Management Service ICTS Services Programme.
Care.data, which has been plagued by problems since the beginning, has been branded “unachievable” and needs its future “reassessed.”
The MPA claims that the red rating is justified because the programme needs to clarify, agree and communicate its scope, appoint a full-time senior responsible owner and reconstitute its board with a clear role and responsibility.
Meanwhile, the Whitehall watchdog has said that NHS Choices needs to establish its future direction and funding, whilst the NHS Health and Social Care Network received its red rating because it needs to improve delivery confidence.
The National Offender Management Service ICTS Service Programme received its red rating because the programme was paused in 2014 after performance issues with the live service and further operational issues after this.
A government IT projects have also received the amber/red rating, which is just slightly better than red. These projects include the National Crime Agency IT Modernisation Programme and the Cabinet Office’s Next Generation Shared Services programme.
Last year, Universal Credit fared poorly in the MPA annual report, where it was issued “reset” status rather than the traditional traffic light ratings.
This year, the project has received amber/red status and it has been revealed the programme is still very much over budget, costing £15.8bn so far, an increase of £3bn in the past three years.
However, despite the high number of technology projects receiving low MPA ratings, there is a small improvement on last year where 23 IT projects received red or red/amber status, compared to 21 this year.
Some public sector technology projects even received the best green rating, including the National Cyber Security Programme, which is the responsibility of the Cabinet Office.
According to the MPA, the programme’s 2014 Health Check indicated that the project is on track to be delivered successfully.