back to article LibDems call for gov 'IT skills' office

The Liberal Democrats have said the government should set up a new office to promote IT skills throughout Whitehall, in an effort to fill the "skills gap" in the sector. The proposal is one of a number in a new paper, Preparing the Ground: Stimulating Growth in the Digital Economy, which outlines the party's position on IT …

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Mushroom

If they did this correctly then great

Put someone like Donald Knuth in charge of something like this, and pay him a fortune and you will get policy which will shape the country for generations. Throw a department of acronym spouting twats with social media skills at it, and we are forked as a nation.

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Coat

Forking the nation.

Actually forking the nation may not be a bad idea. Whose up for creating LibreBritian?

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Silver badge

Slebs

You know, as well as the rest of us, that a minor or has-been celeb will be chosen to head up a quango such as IT Skills.

Look at the 'experts' that have been used over the past few years - we have been kicked in the fork.

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Long odds

I wonder which of those two scenarios is the more likely?

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Pint

GnuBritain

"Whose up for creating LibreBritian?"

Is that "Libre" as in beer? No, wait..... I'm confused now.

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Meh

No shit Sherlock...

It has been painfully obvious over the last decade and more that it's not only civil servants who don't "get" what IT is and can do. Here's hoping that this new IT skills office will spend time teaching MPs, too... and that it's not going to be made up of Accenture/PA/Crapita appointees filling heads with grandiose ideas that will result in said companies being paid megabucks for giving abysmal advice.

Need a "Fingers crossed" icon..

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

It is

always nice to see an optimist :-)

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Trollface

training in the impact of IT?

Now Jeeves I'm going to hit you over the head with this iPad and I want you to write down your thoughts on the impact, can you do that for me Jeeves?

okay so now we know it hurts more if I hit you with the glass side, that's a very interesting finding, but we need to make sure it's repeatable. Run down to the store and buy another dozen iPads chop chop.

While you're there I'll wheel the racks over to the window for the next round of tests. Which was your car Jeeves?

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Stop

Understanding the problem being solved, is the problem.

From what I have seen the massive 'IT' projects that fail are also massive business process change projects.

Applying technology to an broken process designed around a poorly understood problem only makes matters worse, and costs us taxpayers a shed load in the process.

They need to understand that techonology is not a magic bullet, and that getting the fundamental business right is of the utmost importance.

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Silver badge

Great idea

As long as it's not staffed with Capita advisers and Microsoft secondies(sp?)

I wonder how you apply to be on this.

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Paris Hilton

Cut the budget by a third...

We'll know when they really have a handle on it - they'll take out the C when they refer to anything IT related!

/Paris - C's probably about the best grade she ever got!

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Joke

sniff, sniff

I smell conlib pork :-)

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Paris Hilton

In-house

When I was a Civil Servant, many many moons ago, all IT was in-house and IT projects were robustly planned and delivered.....and then some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to outsource vast swathes of core IT Services to the likes of EDS, Fujitsu and, these days, CSC.

Governmental IT has been nothing but a disaster since, as all of the staff who knew what they were doing no longer reported to their bosses in the civil service, where their pay rise depended on annual reporting and performance, but were now external consultants reporting to a new set of commercial bosses who had determined that their job description, irrespective of what they were actually doing, was now "How Much Money can you make our company today".

Until this changes, Governmental IT will either not deliver or will deliver at such an inflated cost that there was no point in conducting the project in the first place.....and if you don't believe me...just ask a CSC bod about the WAF process....if it wasn't taxpayers money being spunked away I'd laugh.

Paris. Coz even she could have seen the problem

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Government IT disasters aren't new

I agree that the Civil Service IT people at the coalface know what they're doing and are no less competent that any other IT staff. However, their management are both incompetent and could care less about results.

I was part of the crew that rescued the Naval Dockyard Project back in the mid-70s. The original project was planned on 'Magnificant Men In Their Flying Machines' lines: zer is nuzzing an HEO cannot do. The result was that in 7 years the original project got nowhere - and was fixed in 18 months when the management were replaced by good ICL project managers aided by a number of outside programmers and system designers.

In the early 90s I was also involved in the 3rd attempt at an HMCE project - all three attempts failed to deliver anything due to HMCE management being more interested in scoring points off each other than delivering anything.

Sacking everybody above HEO is the best way of reforming the Civil Service.

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Bronze badge

Who has experiance of implementing large scale government IT projects, went to Oxford and needs pin money til they retire.

Or you could hire day rate consultants as customer friends whoes interest is in delaying anything so they can earn more.

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FAIL

doh!

yeah, that's what we need, a whole new department of civil servants telling other civil servants how to do their jobs better

@whoever-suggested-forking-libreBritain yes, I'm up for it, and if it's really libre then there'll be no bl**dy illiberal democrats neither...

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Anonymous Coward

It could be called The Department of Administrative Affairs...

..and I sure an MP called Jim Hacker could be found to run it!

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Anonymous Coward

Great idea, but...

It will either be a friend of David Cameron who gets the job, based on their being invited to a party, because they were at Uni with him, and once was the figurehead for a project staffed by 100s of much cleverer people they were lucky enough to have hired.

or

It will be a consultancy team.

or

the new hotline to the Ministers from the heads of major companies will say, "We already have the relevant techies who can do the job, we only fail because you ask us to, to boost the numbers of women in IT, and people with arts degrees, technically clueless people who can build up qualifications like Prince and ITIL, and so on. We could easily do it, but it would involve sacking all the people who aren't doers. Do you know how many people we're going to have to lay off, if your department actually gets us to deliver on time and to budget?" and it will be closed.

The post, were it ever instituted, and should they find someone cynical enough with the integrity to do what is necessary, would be undermined from day one by leaders of business. It would be like forming a new state on the edge of the Med, in the middle of all the Muslim countries, and filling it with Jews. It would be surrounded on all sides by people who wanted it destroyed.

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FAIL

The problem is, this is not limited to civil servants. I bet it is 80% of those in IT don't get it either. TUPE imo has really lowered and contaminated the skills pool.

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