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back to article Gordon Brown declares another new era in gov IT

The government plans further back office integration and a national introduction of the Tell Us Once service as part of its streamlining programme. The moves are among the main features of Putting the Frontline First: Smarter Government, a strategy document published by the Cabinet Office on 6 December 2009. Launched by the …

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Flame

Savings?

Here's a few ideas:

Fire every second senior civil servant, too many cooks etc.

Force all MPs to submit receipts with expense and to fully disclose all claims to the public.

Ban MPs from first or business class travel. They can go by economy/standard just like everyone else.

Scrap all PFI/PPP schemes and block any new ones.

Stop bidding on shite like the 2012 and 2014 games.

Find the twit who incorrectly interpreted the Second Licensing Directive (costing us £75million and rising) and summarily dismiss them for gross incompetence.

Let the banks pay their bonuses...then tax said bonuses at 100%. The bankers needed bailed out by new shareholders (us) and thus are obviously incompetent. As a shareholder I do not want some incompetent banktard to be rewarded.

Scrap the third runway at Heathrow and block all future airport expansion - it is simply not needed. Money saved should be spent on rail.

Claw back subsidies from rail companies. If they are making profits, they don't need subsidy.

Don't waste billions on new fighter planes that are just going to sit in a warehouse and rot.

Scrap the ID Card scheme and the banking database.

Actually....if you do the last one all the others become optional.

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Anonymous Coward

@Savings?

Agree with above, except:

"Scrap the third runway at Heathrow and block all future airport expansion - it is simply not needed. Money saved should be spent on rail."

BAA will be paying for that, not Government/Taxpayers.

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Silver badge

Basic government IT

10, Hire EDS to implement new IT system because they claim it will save huge amount from efficiency gains.

20, Discover cost of system is 2-10x as much as they claim

30, Discover savings are 1/2 - 1/10x as much as they claim

40, Abandon system

50, Goto 10

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Anonymous Coward

In other news ....

... the home secretary announces that the Identity Card is now the key to the new "tell us once" policy adding that all previous rumours that it was introducted to combat terrorism, illegal immigration, under-age drinking etc were wrong and it had always been planned as a means for reduction government costs.

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Bronze badge

Here are the guidelines from 2000:-

UK E-envoy Announces Radical Shake-up

In a revolutionary move, the UK Government’s new e-envoy Mr Andrew Pinder, is about to announce the result of a huge two and a half week study into past and future I.T. projects and spending plans. Insider sources, close to ministers, who carried out the study at Neasden Polytechnic (London UK), are believed to have made some remarkable discoveries.

They found that, as predicted by Fred Brooks in his seminal work “The Mythical Man Month”, all IT projects run over budget and are always hugely late. Figures average around 834% in cost overruns, with some jobs being so late that they are never fully implemented, are typical for the public sector. Private sector projects have similar outcomes but the figures are much more difficult to substantiate due to poorer record keeping, better accounting and ensuring that the truth is hidden from the Company Directors.

More recent PFI projects (Private Finance Initiatives) will obviously go the same way, but at least the Government does not have to take the whole blame.

In a radical departure from the past, as part of the new “Joined-up Government” approach, the study has a whole new set of guidelines for all Government departments, some of which are :-

* Don’t sign any deals with any suppliers, just order some kit, get it installed, and let local workers sort out the mess. This is what happens anyway so you might as well plan accordingly. There is always some spotty oik who knows how to get the printer to work and cheat your copy of Doom up to the third level – use him well, he comes very cheap as he is already on the payroll.

* Plan to replace your hardware when it breaks (not fix it, not have a service contract), and in any case at least every 2 to 3 years. This way you spread the cost evenly, and can’t go over budget. Let each office handle their own kit. Hardware is very cheap now – try and get grey imports as they are the cheapest and will have been made in the same factory as all the branded, high price, kit.

* Give your old hardware to the people in the office – if they want it they will have to look after it.

* Always use standard desktop office applications (Word processors, spreadsheets etc) don’t try and customise. If you need a database application, generate it locally in the office – they know what they want now, not what they might need in 5 years, ensuring it will work now, work well, and work quickly.

* Encourage the KISS approach (Keep It Simple Stupid) i.e. free distribution of post-it notes, pens, paperclips, pads. These kind of things usually get stolen for their kids schoolwork but it would be better to use them in the office instead of that £2000 laptop computer to write memos and take phone messages etc. The paperless office is a fantasy, and will be for the foreseeable future.

* Use “Open Source” software as much as possible – again every department now has people running Linux/BSD at home, promote them in charge of the departmental servers and then see how many virus alerts and reboots you get. No one allows his home Linux machine to propagate malicious code. With the added bonus of being part of the Open Source community, your workers will have a stake in getting it right, getting the job done, and being able to share their knowledge with others.

A spokesman from the DTI (Department for Trade and Industry) said that he could not confirm the existence of such a report, but he did confirm that a recent invitation extended to the UK Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair, to visit Redmond VA (USA) had been declined due to “pressure of work”.

The report is due to be leaked to the satirical magazine “Private Eye” during the summer recess as part of a “softening up” process of the existing entrenched position of some ministers.

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change of address - old news

http://www.iammoving.com/

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Boffin

@Martin 6

Is this and example of "GOTOs considered harmful?"

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Anonymous Coward

a title

and we're supposed to believe him this time?

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WTF?

Calling Lewis Page!

Do you know how many goddamn aircraft carriers we could by with the NHS IT budget!?

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Happy

Expertise.

It's simple really - only grant ministerial roles to people with real experience in that area.

Thus - the NHS Minister should be an ex-nurse.

The IT Minister should be someone with experience in IT

The Defence Minister should be an ex-soldier.

The Unemployment Minister should be someone with several years experience of unemployment.

That way you get real experience, no more mindless publicity stunts and sensible decisions based on genuine experience.

Oh, and the Ministers should be paid the same as the unemployed are paid. (All expenses related to doing the actual job met by the state).

That would sort the wheat from the chaff.

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Stop

Even easier solution

Publish all government IT contracts like they do in Australia.

Enjoy a 30% savings

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Anonymous Coward

More IT, More Money for Me!

If me happens to be:

Accenture

CSC

EDS

CAP Gemini

Fujitsu

ATOS

Steria

A fine bunch of British companies, to benefit from our tax pounds. Mind you are there any British IT companies left.

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Anonymous Coward

You forgot...

...Crapita

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Grenade

..about time??

Must admit, the Tell em Once should have been done years ago, I recently had to deal with the "death process" I couldn't believe how bureaucratic it was, felt like I was some kind of unpaid private courier, moving paper forms between offices 20miles apart.. Geez

Why not a centralised Council Tax system? Why does each council have one, should be able to pay it online and at the post office.. job done... savings billions... though obviously cake shop profits will suffer from the reduction in middle aged pin money employees that get sacked....

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Silver badge

Pull the other one, it's got bells on it.

"save over £600m by encouraging people to use online channels rather than face-to-face ones;" ...... Anyone who has used online channels to engage with government will realise that that proposal is a nonsense and cynical ringer, as they [the administration] are terrified of using it because it leaves an evidence trail which cannot be plausibly denied whenever things go pear shaped.

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Anonymous Coward

Labour couldn't

organise a computer program in the nation where computers were invented.

It is pathetic, these systems are not that hard to produce, and Labour have just been funding foreign companies to produce donkey doo, what a waste, but that is Labour all over.

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Anonymous Coward

savings?

"save over £600m by encouraging people to use online channels rather than face-to-face ones"

how does that help save money? the governments idea of an "online service" is that you type the details in to a website, then they print a form and post it to you so you can return it to them through the manual process!

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Black Helicopters

How many aircraft

carriers can be bought?

actually it will be none since canceling the contracts with BAE etc will cost less than canceling the contracts with the IT suppliers

Plus canceling the carriers will produce a nice looking "We've saved 6 billion quid" headline in the papers.

Meanwhile in 2019, a military situation developes which requires the UK to have a large carrier and 60 carrier based aircraft, only we have a 1/2 built IT system for the NHS which still does'nt work.

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FAIL

people don't want a government that tells them what to do

Wow! And it's taken 12 years of increasing public anger at increasing Labour authoriatarianism for you to realise that?

And, what, you expect them to forget all of that in the next few months before your sorry arses are booted out of offices you are not fit to hold...??

Fail, because that's what Labour have done time and time again.

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Silver badge

@Martin 6

Then rewrite in COBOL for even more savings.

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FAIL

@Graham Marsden

"And, what, you expect them to forget all of that in the next few months before your sorry arses are booted out of offices you are not fit to hold...??

Fail, because that's what Labour have done time and time again."

And yet they are still in power... should tell you a thing or two about the British voters. They will forget over and over again.

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FAIL

And Tell Us Once security?

Use the ID Card to verify ID on-line? But its not an eID card...

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Anonymous Coward

Great idea to reduce consultancy

After all, it was a consultant that pointed out to one large governenment department that its 100 man-day IT project could be done in half an hour. And was then told that, since they were half-way through, they would finish it the original way.

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FAIL

Oh dear lord... not again!

I can see how all this is gonna pan out!

I work in a local authority.... in the past decade I've seen 4 IT restructures and 2 Authority restructures.

What Browns plan means to the common man is this....

1. Most (if not all) local offices being closed.

2. Most important building assets being sold for rock bottom prices, then offices rented at sky high prices.

3. Voters being forced in using online payments, notifications regardless of age! (with the UK's aging population this will be disasterous).

4. More restructures.

5. 80% fit structure for all IT supplied systems.... (thats like 80% fit clothing, if it only fits you 80% then it doesn't fit at all).

6. Redundancies to make cost savings. (not improvement of services).

Yay for Governement! So who'd voting for the loonies next time... could they do worse?

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Anonymous Coward

Pay close attention Gordon, because I'm going to Tell You Once

Fuck off already

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IT Angle

Great British companies

Atos are French. A lot of govt online efforts are done using RTF format due to the innate belief that RTF docs are readable using <ANY> wordprocessor, so if you use Word <version> you *should* be OK. However, if you're in the dark ages (like me) and still use WordPad (or Works) to do your RTF docs, stuff written using other WP software results in all the formatting going to cock, so if you decide to print said doc in WordPad, your doc is unreadable. When I worked for them (govt) I mentioned this, but was ignored by the higher ups. Surely (standard) HTML would do, after all that's what the interweb was created for. Politicos, you gotta love 'em, for they know not what they do.

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