IT trouble hits Dome chiefs.

Millennium Dome chiefs were criticised this week for spending thousands of pounds on asset registration equipment and not making full use of it.

Bosses at the New Millennium Experience Company are understood to have spent between #20-#40,000 for the Hardcat software in a bid to maintain reports on its asset value in preparation for the sell-off of the Dome.

But it is understood the software had not been kept up to date, a contributory factor in the decision by Nomura to pull out of the deal to buy the Dome.

Neil Patterson, Hardcat managing director, said: ‘The Dome is still using our system – we offered to assist them in updating their asset register when the Nomura bid came in. However it was too late.’

But a Dome spokeswoman, said: ‘We are reasonably happy with the maintenance to the asset register.’

Separately, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee hit out at the financial management of the Dome following the National Audit Office’s damning report on the troubled attraction.

David Davis, chairman of the PAC, said the report was ‘a serious indictment of those involved with this ill-fated project’.

The committee was set yesterday to grill key Dome officials, although it has emerged that Neil Spence, former FD of the company, will be spared as he is no longer an officer of the company.

Instead David James, the accountant brought in to run the company, was due to face questions on financial management. Spence could, however, attend the hearing.

Davis said that he would want to know whether the NMEC was trading while insolvent since February 2000 and why parliament was led to believe the company was solvent until late September.

Members of the all-party group also want to ensure Spence had fulfilled his duty to make sure that money was properly spent, value for money was obtained, and everything possible was done for the orderly sale and hand over.

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