The National Audit Office (NAO) has said that the Covid-19 pandemic has “laid bare” issues caused by legacy IT within the government. The report analysing the government and the pandemic exposed some significant issues with regards to legacy data and IT systems. A large part of the government’s Covid-19 response has been the use and sharing of data, however NAO found that this was not always “timely”.
The report claims that local authorities did not have proper access to the NHS Test and Trace data from the start, which was crucial to “deliver their local pandemic response.” For instance, when clinically vulnerable people were advised to shield, it took several weeks to be able to identify these individuals let alone communicate with them. As a result, “limitations in the accuracy and completeness of the data used and collected by government have affected some pandemic response measures.”