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back to article Maude reckons UK.gov web makeover will save £1.8bn annually

The Cabinet Office claimed today that shoving central government services online will save the UK roughly £1.8bn a year. The 7.5 million or so taxpayers in Blighty who are yet to use the internet may feel slightly miffed. The potential cost saving was the headline figure waved around by Francis Maude's department this morning as …

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Anonymous Coward

y'know how else they could save money?

Switch bulky desktops and CRTs to atom desktops and LCD screens, power saving for the year would probably pay for itself.

Switch majority of systems to a thin client system, primarily for power saving purposes.

If possible switch to FOSS and Linux to save on software licenses.

Effectively a large initial cost, which would result in a larger overall saving.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure thin clients save that much money as the engineering required for the humongous servers is rather a lot.

Still, take all those core2 desktops and put linux on them and put them in a cupboard behind linux-ha handling 3-4 users each and you might save some without needing new server hardware.

Oh yeah, windows. No savings for you then!

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Anonymous Coward

There have been attempts by the home office to offer 'comforting' advice to Phorm/BT who were at the time trying to exploit our online acitivities for their own commercial gain without our knowledge or consent. The level of apparent ignorance of what was going on at the time by the then-director general of GCHQ leaves the strong impression that the government had a strong incentive to allow it to proceed. Perhaps a forerunner and a basis for the systems needed by the legislation outlined in the government's CCDP package?

What reason therefore should we have to think that government services - many of whom could be dealing with sensitive personal data - will be secure when accessed through methods of communications whose security has been intentionally compromised?

If may be worth noting that even the likes of the Hampshire police service use Bluecoat's services on their internet connection. Any usage of a government service going through there would presumably be made potentially available to the US government under the PATRIOT Act. If the police allow this to happen to their own officers whilst refusing to do anything about RIPA offenses brought to their attention by the public then what hope is there for the rest of us?

And what about any attempt to limit or block internet usage because of the DEA? How will people access government services if they've been blocked from having internet access?

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Anonymous Coward

When it comes to 'the cloud' it might be worth remembering that the UK government have been quite happy to host their sites abroad. To anybody reading this that thinks that the UK government wouldn't send personal data abroad: I'd remind you that the recent census in the UK was run by Lockheed Martin.

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Hmm

£1.8bn saving? And I just saw a badger on a unicycle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

£1.8bn? This would be the same as the estimated cost of the government's CCDP scheme?

A coincidence?

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Hmm

Come El Reg, make an FOI request for how they have arrived at this daft number.

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Anonymous Coward

Meet the new strategy, same as the old strategy

Despite what you might think if you drink the kool-aid from the gov.uk web team, and their cabal of little friends all over Twitter, there's nothing new, innovative or radical about this strategy. It's exactly the same thing that every UK government web service has been saying for years. We'll change the world! We'll be digital by default! We'll save billions! No-one will be left behind!

It's nonsense, of course. They'll shoehorn what they can into their rigid little round-cornered boxes, in the process throwing out a whole bunch of good content (if you don't believe me, Google what people are saying about gov.uk having replaced Business Link). The 7 million who aren't online will continue not to be. In a while, the kool-aid drinkers will get bored, move on, and it'll be left to the dedicated career civil servants to pick up the pieces. Plus ca change...

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Bronze badge
Coat

That tax disc purchasing website is awesome!

When i think back to the not too distant past when you had to go to a post office - A POST OFFICE for christs sake! i mean , they only open about five minutes a day so only unemployed people can get to them.

And what are they doing going in there when theyre not supposed to have any money!

Anyway I've got a telegram to send.....

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WTF?

I'd be more impressed if they said "we *have* saved 1.8bill" , rather than "we *will* save 1.8b, assuming we dont cock the whole thing up and go millions over budget"

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Silver badge

"assuming we don't cock the whole thing up and go millions over budget"

OF COURSE it's going to be cocked up and OF COURSE it's going to go millions over budget

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drink the kool-aid.. Will people kindly stop saying this, it makes no sense of any sort. i've just googled it, sounds disgusting anyway. The of course there are the people who start sentences with So.

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Bronze badge

What were you googling for?

Try 'Jonestown' and 'massacre' and 'mass suicide' and 'cult' and you might get the odd site explaining the 'kool-aid' reference. How old are you?

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Anonymous Coward

Hilarious

When was the last time a UK GOV IT project came in under (or at) budget and on time ?

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Leaders of UK Govt IT projects that bring in on time keep it *very* quiet

Showing up your colleagues is the architype of sh***ing where you eat.

Statistical variance suggest it *must* happen occasionally.

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N2
Bronze badge

1.8Bn?

Isnt that the same as the cost of the latest slurp to spy on the UKs netizens porn stash?

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Anonymous Coward

Why not link to the HTML version?

El Reg,

You know I love you right? We've been friends a while...

But I just can't understand why you linked to the PDF version of this strategy document. Firstly, it's a PDF - which isn't always Portable and in this case it's not particularly sexy looking.

However http://publications.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/digital/strategy/ is beautiful, really beautiful. It's in HTML, it's open, free and unencumbered. Why didn't you link to that? I know it was in the press info, because I saw it...

Please, please... change you link...

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Why not link to the HTML version?

Thanks, the PDF is particularly horrible. Sadly the whole thing is written for civil servants.

(Speaking personally)

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not link to the HTML version?

Nothing that starts "Executive Summary" is going to be beautiful.

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Unhappy

Plenty to go for

I think this would be achievable if government departments employed people with any get up and go. When I tax my car the local tinpot garage have updated the database with the MOT details so I do it online. When I tax my bus that is tested by VOSA it is never on the system so I have to make a trip to the post office. What a load of tossers.http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_down_32.png

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