back to article Outsource back office, Gershon tells Tories

Former head of the Office of Government Commerce Sir Peter Gershon has advised the Conservatives to outsource all back office processing functions within 18 months of being elected. Gershon, who has joined the Conservatives' public sector productivity panel, said that "a new government should focus on better management, not more …

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So what did Peter Gershon manage himeself?

Why Standard Telephones and Cables? Not exactly a household name still. Even the compant that bought them, Nortel, is bust. So how about a successful business man telling the Government how to run things?

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jobs for the boys

"Gershon also said that, if elected, the party should negotiate significant reductions in costs from suppliers, and should minimise the use of advertising, lawyers, external contractors and consultants."

Hmm, past experience of Tories doing this leads to huge numbers of consultants and vastly inflated costs and expensive advertising campaigns to (and failing ) bring it to the attention of the populace, not to mention the lawyers --sorry -- barristers (tey cost a bloody fortune) to go over the contracts.

Not that they'd go for huge reductions from suppliers either as past experience also shows that Tory cost-savings cost us too much. There is also the habit of doing things like PPP which guarantees outrageous bonuses to company bossses whether or not the project is failing or delivers on time.

There isn't a 'fail' icon big enough

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Grenade

this is the same peter gershon

Who contributed to the demise of GEC due to years of lack of investment & vision

Beware!

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Paris Hilton

PORK!

Barrels of it! Tory party donors must be lining up at the trough already!

* Paris, cos she knows how to handle a piece of pork *

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Good in principle

Practice is likely to be a different matter.

BTW despite it being called "The Home Civil Service" different UK govt dept have different rules for *lots* of things. Eg the date your holiday allowance is calculated differently depending on *which* government department you join. if you're transferred the rules *change*.

Why. Because they do. 100 computer centres. FFS.

Seriously taken as a whole the CS is *huge*. Unified payroll and personnel *should* give equally large savings. But this *won't* be easy. It will *demand* senior (Ministerial and PPS level) commitment backed up by experienced professionals. The 2nd question. In house or outsourced, given how much govt IT has been outsourced over the last 13 years there should be *more* than enough evidence to demonstrate the right approach.

Thumbs up for IMHO some good ideas.

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Is that because

As we all know outsourcing is just such a major success story wherever it happens.

Same shit, higher price.

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Big Brother

So

Instead of our hard-earned taxes being spent on civil service drones, who will then reinvest the money down the pub, it will all go off to India/China/USA/Belize (delete whichever is not applicable).

Cracking idea. Someone is in need of an introduction to the clue stick.

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never really got that one...

A public service needs to provide, well a service - NOT a profit... how exactly does outsourcing make it cheaper? Well, without offshoring to a country where slavery is still legal of course.

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Oh goody

Now we can have the government run by:

Accenture, IBM and EDS because they are the only companies big enough to stand up the indemnities required.

Not only that, they would land up controlling most of the governments IT spend that's now distributed across a lot of smaller IT companies, so obviously the Tories have decides that small business is a waste of time in government.

Trouble is that with that and Dr. Death's advice, they'll kill a lot of British companies, small medium and large, and we'll see a lot of our Tax revenue leaving the UK.

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You missed out

Cap and Fujitsu. Also EDS were bought by HP, don't think they're called EDS anymore.

Still,I'd be interested to know what small companies government IT is currently spent with, I was under the impression that it all went to one of the big guys, just like it always did.

Do tell.

Of course we could go back to the good old days (as a lot of people here seem to want to) when they only bought Compaq PCs and ICL everything else. That was very cost-effective.

Here's an idea. We have loads of people here who seem to know what''s wrong with government IT and how it should be fixed, why don't we start our own consultancy? That way we can provide excellent service for sod all money and keep the bonuses in the UK tax system.

Who's with me?

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Again?

Does this Mr Gershon have shares in all those companies that would benefit from outscourced contracts? I find it amusing that he would outsource the entire of government, but then tell them they are not allowed to employ lawyers to check the contracts... It has been done before and the results were an unmitigated disaster.

Here is a new concept Mr Gershon, the private sector is not in it to benefit the taxpayer! Some things they can do better, but in other things their priorities lie elsewhere. And 'sweating the asset' is why the public has to travel on over-crowded and old buses/trains. Not exactly a model of private sector outsourcing success!

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Paris Hilton

I tell you what you want to hear....

This would also be the same Gershon who "advised" chief nob-jockey of Australia, Kevin Rudd, to in-source as much as possible. And not use those expensive contractors. Obviously a man for hire himself - I wonder how much the Tories paid him. I believe here in Australia that we contributed a few million dollars ( now worth a few million quid due to the GFC) to his pension pot. Another greedy fucker then.

Paris, 'cos she'd tell you what you want to hear for a few quid/dollars as well.

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Tory SOP

There's a disturbingly powerful wing of the Tory party that sees its raison d'etre as being to channel public money into private companies, as quickly as it can. I suspect Mr Gershon is appealing to this wing.

Here's a thought, Mr Gershon: what reason do we have to believe that private-sector contractors will be more industrious, more honest, more efficient than the public-sector workers currently doing this job? Doesn't the history of government outsourcing rather suggest the opposite? They may have better resources, but there's absolutely no reason to assume they'll use those to give better value to the taxpayer - when there's so many more *fun* things they could be doing.

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Paris Hilton

private sector efficiency

I have head about this mythical thing, efficiency, while working in both private and public sector. Never seen anything like rationality in private companies. The bigger the more insane and bureacratic.

The most effective systems I have worked in have been in public services. Had faults, but generally the effort to achieve a goal was not outweighed by the amount of effort to get approval or resources.

A suggested IT devils dictionary entry.

Outsourcing (verb) Rent seeking behaviour.

Paris, because she and outsourcing share an attribute

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Doing a review is easier than delivering savings

The Gershon review has helped to drive down costs in public procurement by sharing good practice and using framework contracts to simplify the process where it makes sense to do so. Has it increased cashable savings? Probably a lot less than he thinks ... a lot of that money has simply been directed elsewhere.

If a department has a decrease in its costs and a demanding public with an insatiable demand for services then making those cashable savings is tough - someone is going to be unhappy and it's probably the voters.

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