Cost-cutting in the public sector has serious implications for service delivery: just ask the SME IT suppliers counting the expense of bidding for a mega software and services agreement that may now be scrapped. Resellers were invited in June to tender for the Applications Development, Delivery and Support Services (ADDSS) …
Bravo Francis Maude
We are one of the SME suppliers who are caught up in this mess. It has cost us a small fortune to bid for this framework as so many people (including top tier management and consultants) were pulled off revenue generating work to complete the application proces. As the person in charge of this I have written several stern emails with only canned responses with directly copied and pasted extracts fromt he original email you refer to. The travesty is the framework we were applying for is made up of 10 suppliers who are global blue chips who've now had their carte blanche to charge the government what they like extended for a year and a half beyond the original framework expiry date. their execs will be hand wringing and back patting with glee. Bravo Francis Maude!!!
Are we surprised?
This type of cock up is the can be reasonably foreseen when dealing with people whose only strategy is to buy things at the lowest cost. The idea of actually sitting down, compiling a detailed set of customer requirements (that can be validated across the whole organisation and not just the Cabinet Office or a single department), assessing those requirements, understanding and formulating a strategy for delivering them and then designing, building, testing and supporting an appropriate solution is beyond the politicians and their special advisers but of course they can always blame the civil servants for their ineptness.
The whole reason the govt wants SMEs is not to boost UK industry or even to give business to SMEs. The truth is that they expect SMEs to sign up to unlimited liabilties and onerous contract terms because they are so desperate for the work they will agree anything at any price. Fiascos like this one serve a salutory lesson to the SMEs, consider carefully if you are willing to carry the can for a govt screw up because they certainly won't pay the financial costs of their negligence.
Capacity problems on the computer? What were they using? A zx80?
I nearly had "a moment" involving the defenestration of my screen when uploading documents to their lovely portal. I believe they were using a 56k modem to connect ot the world alongside the ZX