back to article Tribunal orders DWP to release IT contract details

The Information Tribunal has ordered a government department to publish most of the till-now withheld details of a major IT contract, after ruling that the public interest was served better by disclosure than secrecy. The First Tier Tribunal has said (pdf) that most of the withheld material in a contract between the Department …

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Paris Hilton

PMSL

"the details would erode its ability to obtain value for money in future contracts"

The DWP actually seeks value for money in contracts ? Really ? Who knew ?

And how does that work anyway ? Presumably the DWP are concerned that if people realise just how much they're being ass fucked on this deal, then everyone will know they're easy ? In itself this is practically an admission - as if any were needed - that the contract involved in no way represents good value for money.

Another indicator is that the primary contractor's commercial interests could be damaged by revealing the financial model. There is but a single reason for that to be true, which is that somebody could undercut them. In which case boo hoo for them, welcome to the market, but yay for us because we just got actual value for money.

It shouldn't require an FOI, the stupid buggers would get much better VFM if they stopped trying to do all this under the table.

Paris, because she does things under the table.

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Two hearty cheers

Not before time. The easiest way for the ConDems to save a few billion would be to make public the financial basis of all government contracts for us to marvel/fume/laugh at. Follow this up with suitable punishment* of those responsible for the cock-ups and we're on our way.

As I've said before, it's our fscking money and we've a perfect right to know how it's being spent/wasted.

* This should not include the award of a KCMG and enhanced early retirement rights.

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OSC

Govt approach follows that from ID cards

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/20/information_tribunal_id_gateway_reports/

In that ruling govt feared that companies would not want their commercial confidentiality breached - and companies responded by indicating they had a fair idea of each others' prices already so, no, they didn't care.

Here Atos confirmed this. So Cabinet Office gave some excuse about the nature of the contract.

So really, was it all about govt (mis)management of bidding and IT expenditure?

And has it changed under the new administration? (don't know, just wondering)

And, changing the topic, will someone remind me how the government gateway does authentication? surely it's registration at best?

Here's a few other stories from the archive.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/02/directgov_id/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/03/gateway_login_publication/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/government_gateway_upgrade/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/07/28/itnet_bags_163_83m_cabinet/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/04/16/the_microsoft_government_portal_explained/

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Unhappy

Crikey

"Here Atos confirmed this. So Cabinet Office gave some excuse about the nature of the contract."

Ah, so this really is just about hiding the DWP's Byzantine and notoriously inefficient and expensive IT procurement process then.

Why do they bother ? Do they honestly think that people don't know what goes on there ? (rhetorical, obviously)

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WTF?

"Country the data centre is *in*"

Naturally one would presume the UK, but Atos Origin is IIRC a renameing of an old Philips operation.

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Unhappy

Blair/Brown getting too close to favoured vendors

All government contracts should be published at the Request For Tender AND post award stages so that others can determine if the award was on merits or because of 'connections'.

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Title...what here?

All Government and Council contracts > 50 K should be published on a web site and available to public scrutiny.

As previously stated, it is not their money, it is ours and we have every right to know what it is being spent on.

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Stop

Having worked on a previous version of that platform

The finger of blame for cost, functionality, stability, time to deliver etc should not be pointed at Atos but at the government bean counters and OGC who persistently refuse to allow the platform to be upgraded, patched or fixed, even when doing so would take a zero off the operating cost.

If you want the real problem, drive a bulldozer through OGC until you find the rule that says you can't use £X00,000 of opex savings to justify £0.01 of capex. You see, OGC are saving taxpayer money, erm, oh.

The Atos guys on the platform at that time worked all hours to try and keep all the plates spinning despite the customer. (I have nothing to do with Atos and no commercial interest)

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Question this ......

You do have to ask what other hidden commercial secrets there are between the DWP and Atos. I s there an agreement that Atos won't get this or any future IT contracts unless they fail over 90% of severely disabled and dying applicants for ESA and Disability Living Allowance? Thus making the system ultimately more costly for the taxpayer by DWP/Atos ripping off vulnerable people for £billions.

A tribunal of the 'great and good' and carefully selected friends, will never give the truth to ordinary member of the public.

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Troll

they were keeping stumm cos....

most if not all the contracts and datacenter were shifted out to india at rates that the local peasants would think as quiet high rates (£5 a day or less.)

of course the fact that the UK is awash with experienced unemployed IT staff all chasing the same minimum wage jobs has nothing to do with it.

the flak they will receive about this will be ignored by Vince at the DTi no doubt...

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Boffin

AC@21:19

"most if not all the contracts and datacenter were shifted out to india at rates that the local peasants would think as quiet high rates (£5 a day or less.)"

Fact or opinion?

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