The Serious Fraud Office has abandoned the development of a new case management system, it was reported, writing £1.2 million off its books.

The system was shelved when software development costs exceeded the budget set, the SFO explained in a Freedom of Information request.

The £1.2 million figure was revealed last year, as the SFO published its accounts. But the fact that the sum was attributable to an abandoned system was detailed in a response to the FOI request, made by The Times newspaper.

The system was part of the SFO’s £3 million Transformation Change Programme, aimed at improving the agency’s performance. Complex case management was intended to be aided by the new software, but it remains unclear if or when a new system will be introduced.

The abandoned system was still in the “early build” stage, according to the FOI response. Supplier Sungard supports the SFO’s IT systems, but it is not known whether it was involved in developing the new case management software.

In the mean time, the SFO is understood to be using its legacy bespoke case management system called Docman for more basic cases. It also uses the Introspect system from supplier Zantaz for complex, extensive investigations.

The SFO did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On a page that was until recently live on its website, it said it had wanted a new system that would help it process “increasingly complex cases, spawning ever greater volumes of information”.