THE ICE will not be taking legal action to retrieve hundreds of thousands of pounds lost in an abortive attempt to install a new membership database (NCE, 17 June).
Chief executive Mike Casebourne confirmed to Council last week that the ICE would not be pursuing the contractor Quidnunc.
He said: 'We have discussed with a number of experts whether money could be retrieved and we have been advised against taking legal action.'
Instead, the Institution would focus on ensuring that an alternative database system was in place by April 2000, Council heard.
A new consultant, Charteris, was said to be advising the ICE on the procurement of a new system. Phase one of its 60 days of consultancy to review the existing project was almost complete. Phase two to specify and select the software for the new system would start shortly.
Finance director Ian Pownie said that the ICE expected to sign up to the new system before Christmas. He added that the ICE would try to put safeguards in place to protect it against the failure of the system. He said: 'When we sign up to the new system and management of it, then we should be talking about various safeguards to those contracts.'
ICECOLD manager John Bennet would retain a part-time role on the project. Paul Wright from the ICE's Council office had been seconded to organise the project full time.
The new system, MEMSYS, would be moniterd by an ICE steering group including Mark Whitby, Michelle McDowell, Mike Casebourne, and ICE departmental directors.