Fears over institute technology revamp.

The ICAEW has been given the go-ahead to update its IT systems despite concerns over the proposed timetable, writes Philip Smith.

Last week’s institute council meeting voted overwhelmingly to approve the #2m budget to implement the project, planned to be fully functioning by 2003.

But several members of the council voiced concerns about the timetable, saying the technology could be outdated in two years.

The institute aims to unite the vast stores of information held in different databases, replacing it with a single system called iBase.

Peter Owen, executive director of professional standards at the ICAEW and head of the project, said: ‘Advances in digital technology and the rapid growth of the internet are transforming our ability to draw key information out of the huge store of data we maintain and to communicate internally with members and to the world at large.’ But council member Paul Druckman said the two-year transfer cycle was ‘endless’. He said: ‘Technology will have changed, nothing stays static.’

The #2m budget, including #147,000 for additional staff costs, will be spread over the next three years, although the bulk of the money will be spent between 2001 and 2002.

The institute’s website is at www.icaew.co.uk.

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