Re: Down the rabbit hole.....or IT in wonderland (UK Government)
Being a civil servant who has worked with IT contractors in the setup of a new government department I would share these thoughts
1) All The IT staff I worked with were SAP qualified, had IT degrees before applying for their posts, had previous experience in web design and or technical support. The managers had IT experience from the private sector before joining the civil service.
2) Length of service has no bearing on a promotion. All promotions within the civil service must be through "open and fair competition" which includes a blind sift of applications via the recruitment department then an interview that must include someone impartial from HR or the recruitment team. Staff can also not be "appointed", any new post or promotion now has to be authorised by the Secretary of State before the position can be made available.
3) All contract managers must have experience in handling contracts before getting their position but they all have to comply with EU guidelines which have a 70% weighting towards cost when choosing the preferred vendor so as to promote "competition".
Now here's my experience of IT contractors;
1) They were hired mercenaries who didn't care about the projects they were working on, most moved on to other projects before finishing their existing work or would go on holiday during testing.
2) They wanted to provide a pre-packaged solution wherever possible instead of working with the clients to create a package that met the design briefs.
3) They provided products designed to fail. As of "Go Live" not all systems were functioning properly and the contractor wanted additional money to fix these problems.
4) They don't supply what they've been contracted to supply. I worked with a sub-contractor the main contractor paid over £1,000,000 for to setup another contract for our scanning solution. Based on the contractor and sub-contractor's recommendation their preferred vendor was selected and up until the contract expired we weren't provided with half the functionality that was agreed and the other half was so buggy the system barely functioned and one of our IT staff had to learn how the system was designed because to fix the system they had to keep sending someone based in Brazil which would take over a month to arrange..
5) Blacklisting the contractor is pointless because in our situation the contract was given to a smaller contractor beating out the bigger contractors. That small contractor was bough out by one of the big five, dissolved and the contract kept by the big contractor and causing all the issues above.