DUO stuck with IT renewal

DUO stuck with IT renewal




The renewal of the IT systems at the Education Executive Service will take longer and cost more than anticipated. DUO has trapped itself, experts say. The government finds it worrying.


Every year, DUO distributes 41 billion euros to educational institutions, from primary school to university. The service is working on renewing the IT systems for this funding, but that process is not going as hoped.


The renewal was supposed to cost 37 million euros, but will be 19 to 29 million euros more expensive, the IT Review Advisory Board estimates. In addition, there are “substantial delays”. The process was actually supposed to be ready next year, but is likely to take another eight years. 


The revamp was supposed to lead to a flexible system, which can process legislative changes more easily and is easy for DUO employees to use. That too will not succeed, the advisory board predicts.


DUO had a “fallback scenario” in which the old systems continue to run, but that scenario is flawed, according to the advisers. “DUO has trapped itself,” is the conclusion.



“I take the findings of the Advisory Board extremely seriously, I adopt the advice,” responds outgoing minister Robbert Dijkgraaf. DUO is putting the project on pause and will analyse how to proceed this autumn.


Last year, the House of Representatives drew attention to the problems with DUO’s IT, after which minister Dijkgraaf promised to report on progress every six months. The earlier renewal of MijnDUO, where students can arrange their affairs with DUO, also got out of hand and cost twice as much as expected.


DUO had been warned of the current problems. Stop it and implement improvements in the existing IT landscape, was the advice in 2021. That advice was not adopted then.


The extra costs for IT projects run into hundreds of millions of euros for the government. The advisory board was set up in 2020 to get a better grip on this. Its establishment had already been recommended by a temporary committee of the House of Representatives in 2014. (HOP, BB)

News editor Bas Koppe

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