Mr Liddell-Grainger has been blogging about this particular case for some years - if I'm not mistaken, it started back in 2007, the same time as our SAP project. He is right to raise questions about the matter, as from comments made by various senior people associated with the South West One project, it would seem appropriate to ask if any civil servants benefitted financially. Certainly someone has.
The actual details of the agreement are of course not available for public view, but most of the figures quoted for savings simply do not add up, and the costs have spiralled way out of control. We actually managed to get our SAP project working last last year - no thanks to the consultants working on the project, but down to sheer hard bloody work by the members of our project team. It still isn't right yet, but we are slowly fixing all the issues thanks to everyone's patience and commitment.
I too am deeply concerned about the security aspects of the various implementations - the consultants seem to take the view that they own everything and expect to be able to gain full admin access without so much as a "by your leave" - but woe betide anyone that dares to question what they are doing. SAP actually have specific processes and procedures that ALL consultants are supposed to follow - yet it is clear that few if any know about these and none seem to follow them.
What is worse is the very heavy reliance on people from the sub continent. These individuals are paid very highly by their standards, rather less by ours - but in most cases, they have at best limited experience of the system and all it's fads and fancies. I regularly see requests on LinkedIn from some of these individuals asking the best way to get an SAP consultancy role and most of them are straight out of college with a BSc that still has wet ink.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - the SAP business model is not based upon sellingt the software or licences, but upon the constant demand they generate for consultants. Andy anyone that thinks that it will be different for them is living in cloud cuckcucksheim.