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back to article DfT spends £81m to save £57m

A Department of Transport plan to save £57m by moving to shared services - using centralised facilities for some business functions like HR - has ended up costing £87m. The system was examined by the National Audit Office in May which famously found the system barking orders at staff in German, failing to account for weekends …

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Hold on lads, Ive got an idea ....

start sacking civil servants for cock ups rather than paying them hugh amounts for them??

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Pirate

Hmmm...

Having seen that project from up close (but thankfully never asked to work on it) this article contains no surprises.

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No doubt private sector contractors will be blamed for the mess

and then hired to come in and clear it up at great further expense (and great further mess).

One of the virtuous circles that can only be found in the public sector.

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Happy

Only cost 24 million then

Seems like a bargain then, only 24 million for some software that doesn't work is quite cheap in the grand scheme of government it projects. A pat on the back and bonus's all round chaps.

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Hilarious

This is news to them? This is what happens when you parachute a load of managers into a department that works fine and tell them to reduce costs.

Case in point. Some beancounter wonders why you are paying for one IT bod running your AD clusters when you could get 2 indians for half the price.

So he gets canned, job offshored. Productivity goes down, manager hired or forced in to whip them into shape.

Manager believes that hard drives have something to do with golf. IT bod contracted back at twice the salary to be a "mentor" to the offshore indian team and do the important stuff.

Total cost=millions

Total bother=priceless

Yes, i'm bitter.

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Bronze badge

Good investment in our countrys IT industry tbh

If we pay the banks tax money to fuck up, and then let the bastards continue to forclose on people and STILL get fuck off massive bonuses, why cant we thrown some small change at the IT industry?

See this as an investment, proping up one of our only real industrys left

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Dead Vulture

Considerably worse than that even!

Elsewhere reported. The original plan was to spend 55 million and produce savings of 112 million. An overall net saving of 57 million.

It's actually ended up costing (and this is still a forecast - they're not finished yet) 121 million with savings dropping to 40 million. So the 81 million figure quoted is a net cost *including* the predicted savings.

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Stop

@ John Oates

1. Is there any indication on how they intend to recover this complete f**k-up?

2. To make up the cash deficit, is this why DVLA have been pimping our details to third parties?

Thanks.

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hmmmm anyone else sick of this kind of thing?

this should now be considered a criminal matter. ffs im sick of our tax money etc being thrown away. so it costs them £81m to save ~£50m. i wonder if anyone involved has any connections to the big blue? why wasnt it specced properly. how the fuck can a system cost £81m??

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Unhappy

Ha-ha!

That would be hysterically funny if it wasn't OUR money that these bumbling idiots are wasting. The public sector should be banned from undertaking any sort of project that involves computers or data management. It's a foregone conclusion that as soon as they start a project it will end with failure, go seriously over budget, or become dreadfully late, or a combination of 2 or all 3.

It's shameful that they didn't follow the correct procedure to offer the project out to tender. Quite possibly a reputable private company that could have delivered the desired saving has lost out.

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Joke

Das Ver Good!

Nicht!

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Anonymous Coward

A rousing success then

As I've learned from my current employer the definition of "success" for major IT project is somewhat like the definition of "theory" in the scientific community. I.e. what you use the term for in day to day conversation is nothing like how it's used in specialised areas.

Famously one project I worked on had a party to celebrate it's "success" over a year ago. The project is still not complete and has in fact been closed down so can never deliver on it's promises. The people involved in the planning of it have all been promoted out of harms way and the whole matter conveniently forgotten about.

If this level of incompetence and lies is possible in a large financial organisation (under regulatory oversight no less) then image how incompetent public servants can be and still get away with it.

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Stop

Re: Hmmm...

"this article contains no surprises"

Having also seen the project on the ground I'm surprised that the report isn't more critical.

What is worrying is why neither the NAO nor PAC took a look at the project sooner. Two years ago when I spent three days in Swansea it was clear that it was badly managed. The timescales for the installation of the equipment were just dates in a chart and had no connection to reality. So people turned up to install and configure systems only to discover the boxes hadn't been delivered.

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Black Helicopters

@Alan

The only surprising thing about all of this is that anyone at all is surprised by it.

Alan old son, your idea:-

a) Is practical

b) Is simple

c) Costs nothing to implement

d) Is basic common sense

e) Would have an exceedingly positive effect.

so it MUST be obvious that the powers-that-be would never go for it.

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Black Helicopters

Developed By?

"The DVLA began building the systems themselves with support from IBM"

Is that the complete picture?

I have seen a document on the web that suggests the system was developed by another well known supplier to central government and local authorities (as do the german error messages).

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stupendous incompetence

So now a bunch of DVLA civil servants will be invited to take early retirement with stupendous golden handshakes. Everyone wins but the powerless taxpayer, no wonder this just goes on and on and on...

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Paris Hilton

cluster f*ckery ;o) love'd it

so, the committee reckons it's, "one of the worst cases of project management seen" by them.... holy crap - there's some incredibly strong competition out there for that awespicious title; I too am well impressed... and all for just £24million eh?

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Al
Flame

re: how the fuck can a system cost £81m??

easy... loadsa of consultants @ £500 per day

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Flame

No idea of the real cost

Those in government and the civil service have no idea of what the real cost of the money they are wasting in this case and countless others.

It is the equivalent of taking the tax paid by everyone in my company over their entire working lives, and setting fire to it, just for the hell of it.

You'd like to think that your taxes go to pay for hospitals, schools and even defence of the realm, but in reality a good proportion of us struggle throughout our lives to pay taxes only to fund gross incompetence and corruption.

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Coat

@Al

£500/day? Yeh, right... Are they doing the afternoon for free, then?

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Joke

So...

... we now know JIMTHEBOSS works for the DfT

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P'shaw

Oh, p'shaw. I live in Massachusetts. We've got the Big Dig. You haven't seen "stupendous incompetence" until you've seen that. If you're upset after your civil servants needlessly cost you £40m, imagine how we feel knowing the idiots in charge of the Big Dig have cost us over £5b? The estimate a couple years ago was that it was over-budget by $11,000,000,000. I'm sure we'd love it if our civil servants only screwed us out of $80,000,000.

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Where has the money gone?

How much of that money ended up in the pockets of public servants and how much in the wheelbarrows of the private sector?

German error messages indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

@Al

Trust me, Consultants cost waaay more than £500 per day.

Anonymous, 'cos I don't want to upset my employers.

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Happy

Re: P'shaw

I don't think the Big Dig is a fair comparison. The massive cost overruns on the Big Dig did have some help from criminality. Billing for things you deliberately didn't deliver is in a different league from shipping systems that the DVLA lost in goods-inwards.

And anyway, the citizens of Boston got a nice new hole in the ground. And sometimes they can drive along it. The DfT systems are all internal and provide nothing to us citizens. In fact we'd be better off if they had merely spent the money on a huge party.

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Coat

I know exactly what went wrong-

The DVLA computer suffered from water ingress, while it was on a bridge over a major dual-carriageway, looking menacing to passing motorists.

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question...

Re; failed Govt IT projects, has anyone got a running total of the :-

- projects failed

- money wasted

- companies involved

- Govt personnel involved

- lame-arse excuses and finger-pointing at the project wake

It should make a fantastic Saturday morning article on one of the newspapers...

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris C

But your guys are shovelling shit, ours are just staring blankly at their pay slips.

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Coat

Don't worry lads, I've got an idea...

Instead of paying out millions to a few overpaid monkeys with Microsoft certificates and BOFH excuse calendars they bought off eBay, use a small sum of it to hire a few of the newly-liberated (re: Unemployed), and do everything manually. Information can be transported from site-to-site by transit vans.

1) No more IT failures, as there's no IT involved

2) Slash jobless figures overnight

3) Increase motor vehicle sales, thus propping up automotive manufacturing

4)....

5)PROFIT!

Now accepting donations to my future overlord campaign.

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@AC 12:56

I know a number of people at IBM who implement that large german system you are refering to, so I don't understand why you seem to think that the two are incompatible.

Remember, IBM sold off it's desktop/laptop business to enter the sevices sector years ago.

IBM =/= just hardware anymore

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@AC 19:57

Not incompatible, but the original phrase could be taken to mean the only parties involved were the DVLA and IBM. I am surprised that while IBM is given a name check "the large german system" is not.

I have experience of another implementation of that system elsewhere (not by IBM in that instance) and it is a car crash there too.

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Stop

SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP

Why are we all beating around the "SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP SAP"...

SAP = great in theory, gets Fcked up in practice.

some one else who has seen those german errors but AC due to it being my employers latest endeavor!

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