The 10-year Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme at the Ministry of Defence is still behind schedule, despite improvements to the rollout.

But the MoD was on schedule with extending services to front line troops, the government said.

Bob Ainsworth MP, minister of state for the armed forces, said the MoD had in place a “comprehensive governance structure” that assessed the programme’s performance.

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“The programme overall remains within three per cent of its approved programme cost and is on track to deliver the benefits supporting its original approval,” he said.

DII is a Microsoft-centred project that is set to provide secure online data access to troops in the field. It is being developed by the EDS-led Atlas consortium of developers, which also includes Fujitsu, EADS, LogicaCMG and General Dynamics.

Under the DII, 300,000 users will be able to access applications and information via web browsers so that sensitive information is not stored on PCs. After a viewing traces of data are removed from the end computers, and data cannot be copied.

Last November, reports emerged that the DII project had slipped behind schedule, but the MoD moved swiftly to explain that it had overcome early obstacles and was getting back on track. It had also faced challenges as it rearranged parts of the programme to fit with changing military deployments.

A week ago, the MoD signed EDS and SAS for the Management of Materiel in Transit programme, under which it will install new software to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its supply chain.

Separately, the MoD has implemented the first government-certified local area network, at its Defence Support Group maintenance division. The LAN was implemented by Logica and Aruba Networks, and meets new government security standards for transmitting restricted data.

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