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back to article Gov departments need better data systems, NAO says

The National Audit Office wants improvements in the data systems used to measure performance across Whitehall Many government departments need to improve the data systems they use to report progress in meeting official targets, finance watchdog the National Audit Office has said in its latest validation report. It found that …

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Black Helicopters

I used medium blue grout in the shower

The Government bringing in better systems? Unlikely really, that would just mean we would see the truth.

And as Mr Nicholson fumed, you can't handle the truth!

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@pete James

or... they'll say 'we need billions in tax payers money to build a new system which will be guarenteed to do everything we need (we'll figure that out after it's built and then say the builders failed), will be on budget (yeah right) and on time (for next administration)... by which point they'll find they have no data to put in it to report on as they'd have lost it in the post again :s

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People will never learn

It's possibly a cyclical thing.

A some point, there's a big problem, people set up systems and procedures to fix and catch the problem.

Job done.

Then a new generation of hardware comes along, the people who had their fingers burnt have all moved on or retired. New generation of whiz-kids arrives - why do we need all this crap, it's not 'agile', it's bureaucratic. Get rid of it all.

Big problem (that would have been caught / never happened under previous system) arises. Oh my God, how can this happen !

So it goes ...

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Better systems ...

They could record the relevant data on CDs and post it to the NAO periodically. Don't see any reason why that wouldn't work.

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Anonymous Coward

What about compitent staff

Can we do that aswell? We do, after all, pay their wages...

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Silver badge

So 85% are good?

That's worrying - for instance we don't know if things like HMRC and MTAS qualified as 'naughty' or 'nice'. Knowing this lot and relentless inflation of exam grades, a computer system would actually have to kill someone and be found at the scene of the crime to be considered 'failing'.

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Gold badge
Flame

A funny thing.

Whenever a story about Government IT crops up here, it's inevitably followed by a selection of derisory comments about how crap their IT is, how doomed to be crap their projects to improve it are and how crap the "usual suspect" consultancies are that build and run this Edifice Of Shite(tm).

I don't think I've ever seen a defence or justification offered, only "hear hear" style comments from the grunts on the ground asking for pity on the grounds that while we get to laugh, they have to live with it on a daily basis, which isn't funny at all.

Conclusion: Either El Reg is religiously firewalled by uk.gov and Crapita, EDS, CGS et. al. or they're not only shit, but they *know* they are as well.

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Thumb Up

trademarks

If TeeCee has grabbed EdificeOfShite, I hereby notify that FeatOfArse(TM) belongs to me. I reserve the right to make money by foisting inadequately specified, understood, designed, documented, implemented IT systems to enterprises too dysfunctional to detect this and too poor to operate them adequately.

Pace Mike Richards: I, too, wonder if NAO actually found 85% of systems designed to report on performance acceptable - seems a tad high. Or perhaps they have actually only surveyed ~23% of all systems...

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Anonymous Coward

@ TeeCee

As a user of IT systems spec'd and installed by one of the biggest NDPB's I can confirm that our systems are pretty much all shite. For instance, the Public Accounts Committee published a report yesterday that was less than glowing about the database built to record the condition of flood defences across the country. Their recommendation: either fix it, or throw it out and procure something that is fit for purpose.

The problem is that the people who spec these things don't know their elbow from their asshole. It's a competency issue - and there doesn't seem to be any way of cleaning out the crap, or attracting anything half decent.

I'm depressed.

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