Jack Doyle writes in the Daily Mail:
More than Â£400million has been spent on the Governmentâ€™s â€˜snooperâ€™s charterâ€™ – before a single piece of personal data has been collected.
The project is designed to monitor the publicâ€™s every phone call, email and internet click, but is opposed by civil liberties groups and dozens of Tory MPs.
The Bill which would give it a green light has not been approved by Parliament but the Home Office has already spent Â£405 million in development costs.
That amounts to nearly a quarter of the projected total cost of Â£1.8billion over a decade.
Critics said the figures, released to Parliament, showed officials were presiding over â€˜yet another Whitehall IT disasterâ€™.
Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: â€˜As countless experts have warned, this money would be much better spent on equipment and training for officers than on a policy of mass surveillance, recording every single personâ€™s use of the internet, social media and email.
The parliamentary question being reported is here.