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back to article IDS finally admits what EVERYONE ELSE already knows: Universal Credit will be late

Work and Pensions Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith admitted for the first time today that the government's Universal Credit system is unlikely to hit its original 2017 deadline, following costly technology implementation blunders. The one-dole-to-rule-them-all project has been hamstrung by poor management, bad decision- …

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FAIL

British Gov IT Project

Once upon a time.....

Under budget, on time and savings delivered.

......And they lived happily ever after.

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"The one-dole-to-rule-them-all project has been hamstrung by poor management, bad decision-making and cash wasted on IT assets that have now been written off to the tune of £140m in taxpayer money to date"

So essentially like every government IT project before it. CSC bidding for the next contract? Or maybe G4S?

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M_M

Not Quite

Not quite every government project, way back in the 90's we delivered the bathing water quality system on time and within budget and this was after a massive request\spec expansion that occurred after we had delivered the project, and they figured out that what they had asked was not what they wanted (as usual). The original only satisfied the Brussels reporting requirement which was the original spec.

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Hold on a second, how is this a humliation ? only 140 Million over? thats fucking fantastic for a government system, labours pissed away 10 Billion and counting on the NHS system , ffs 140! we should be celebrating!

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It's not a case of only 140 million being wasted - it's that only 140 million of the money that has been splurged on it so far has been written off.

Normally with government IT cock-ups projects, the money doesn't get written off until the end, when we essentially get a dice-roll to see if the whole lot gets scrapped. I wouldn't take this as an indicator of things going well, and I'd hazard a guess that the dice-roll that is to come at the end of this current government won't fall in favour of this white elephant.

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And the rest

Do you think that's the limit of it? NOPE!!! that's all that has been admitted and scrutinised by the PAC.

There's far more to come and on associated projects that have been canned within DWP

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You're blaming Labour for 10bn "and counting"? I think you might have missed some relevant news stories from 2010.

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FAIL

Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Lose £10.00 out of the till and you're on a written warning. Lose hundreds of millions of pounds of Tax payers money on schemes to punish the poor, you get a pat on the back a 'gold plated' pension and a Peerage. I've said it before, he doesn't want to be remembered for being a failure, he wants to be remembered for being a 'Bastard' he don't give a fuck about the cost (its not coming out of his pocket) just so long as the last entry on his CV of life doesn't read 'Failure' cos up to now that's all he's been.

(icon for him, and the DWP)

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Headmaster

Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

"the last entry on his CV of life"

The pedantic grammar Nazi in me wishes to point out that "CV of life" is a tautology.

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

The thicko in me had to look up the meaning of the word 'tautology'

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Go

Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Taut or loose, i still give you an upvote Mr W.

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Assuming that CV stands for Curriculum Vitae (roughly 'course of life') and not Curriculum Venal ('course of lies' or 'course for sale'), which would be more appropriate for most politicans.

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Go

Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

its the internet downt u now peeps dont use grammer pinctuation proper u now nuffink

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

While the implementation is obviously going quite wrong, the core idea is really quite sound.

The way that the current benefits system is constructed is a poverty trap. Once you are in, its really difficult to get out.

The reason is that you received many different benefits at once, housing, job seekers, income support etc. When you earn a pound more than the threshold, a pound is removed from each of your benefits. So earning a pound leaves you several pounds worse off. You have to get a large increase in income at once to get beyond the hump, essentially replacing all the benefit payments in one go, or you end up worse off for working harder. So, a poverty trap.

The core idea with this is to have a single benefit calculation that tapers properly, so earning that pound is actually worth it.

If it could work just like that, it will be better. If.

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Actually I'd have to say the opposite. My wife and I tried completing some child benefit forms because she was going from full time to part time to look after our baby and f**k me if it wasn't a nightmare. One government website said we were entitled to this, one said we weren't but were entitled to something else, another government website said we were entitled to nothing. And HMRC wants to know my work history and payroll details?...You do my sodding income tax, you've got the details there on your system under my NI number!

The system is there to discourage you from applying, this new system, with just one application, will be so easy to apply for more people will be getting hooked.

Also universal credit is just the individual schemes merged into one system, your universal payment is still made up of these smaller payments so its very likely you'll still be stuck in the same situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

"The system is there to discourage you from applying"

methinks you overestimate the system. Given we're talking about (another) gov system faIlure, had it been a system designed and implemented to "discourage" applying for benefit, it would have had to be in a "fail" mode, on by default. So, to fail discouraging you, it would actually have to encourage you, i.e. you (and all others) would have applied... At which point the sub-system of the dis-encouraging system would fail (by definition, a gov-designed systems fail), by crashing, sending your application to 300 mln Chinese penis enlargement companies, planting the pendrive on the nearest publicly accessible bench.. None of which has happened, has it? Which means, nay, it PROVES, that the system actually WORKS!

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

"The pedantic grammar Nazi in me wishes to point out that "CV of life" is a tautology."

Not when you're talking about IDS, who has neither.

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Koolaid much?

The scheme is all about 'incentivising' work. I was on the dole in the 80's and got 'incentivised' a lot. And i can tell you it had fuck all to do with saving the country money, or doing me any favours.

My take on 'the benefit trap' is that most people getting into work, after a potentially long absence don't have the advantage of smith in that they don't get to start at the top with no discernible talent. So the trap is more about the piss poor wages of the worst off workers. Exacerbated by the massive cost of housing driven by the last 30 years worth of house price inflation (err i mean economic miracle of ever increasing house prices)

Even if you have a shitty job stacking shelves on the night shift, for a 40 hour week you should get paid enough to say to the state, thanks for the help, but now i don't need it, i can pay my own way (and have some tax while you are at it)' apparently the fact that this is not so is all the fault of the worker. It's scrounging claimants every time, never exploitative employers or landlords.... i wonder why that is?

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Although the fragment 'taut' and IDS in the same sentence (with the addition of a stout hemp rope) does draw a pretty picture

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Anonymous Coward

Exploiting Ambiguous Language for Smutty Jokes Since 1837

"[My wife] was going from full time to part time to look after our baby and f**k me if it wasn't a nightmare"

Your wife took time off work to look after the baby *and* to f**k you?!

I appreciate she could probably look after the baby herself, but wouldn't f**king you require *you* to take time off work as well, or was she planning on popping in to your workplace and doing it there? Were you planning on doing your job at the same time this was happening?!

Under these circumstances, I can see why she might have been worried that f**king you would be a nightmare!

It's great that she apparently didn't go off that sort of thing after the birth, but this does sound very demanding...

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

Agreed about it sounding like a good idea.

In all areas of government (and life!) we should be striving for simplification, simplification, simplification.

This very much applies to IT.

I wish IDS good luck. I think his stint living in a tower block has given him some good insight.

Let's wish him luck and hope the project works.

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Unhappy

Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

"Curriculum Venal ('course of lies' or 'course for sale'), which would be more appropriate for most politicans."

Nice.

I'll have to remember that one.

I'd extend that to.

Conslutants.

Assorted people running government "work" programmes.

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Re: Good job Iain-Duckegg-Smith doesn't work at Tescos.

"The core idea with this is to have a single benefit calculation that tapers properly, so earning that pound is actually worth it."

Except that it wont.... If you are disabled, or able but on minimum wage you will lose out.

"So earning a pound leaves you several pounds worse off."

....and will continue to be the case.....

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Anonymous Coward

> IDS finally admits what EVERYONE ELSE already knows:

That he's an obnoxious baldy twat so divorced from the real world that it's no longer funny?

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WTF?

4 ways...

Everytime I see another IT cockup from Govt that *we* pay for I am reminded of something from a P.J. O'Rourke book about the 4 ways to spend money.

"If you are spending someone else's money on someone else, who cares?"

I know this is not a magic solution, but if Govt contracts had a default clause that all the source code for these failed "spend until you bleed" projects became the public property? Perhaps we would get solutions that were more likely to converge on the correct solution, rather than the random walk these inevitably seem to be....

P.

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Please can you pass the slit?

Must be Freudian - every time I see IDS in a headline I read IBS. Irritable Dick Syndrome?

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Re: Please can you pass the slit?

Irritating Dick Syndrome.

There, fixed for you :P

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Re: Please can you pass the slit?

More like Incapacity Denying Shit

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Re: Please can you pass the slit?

Irredeemable Despicable Sociopath would be closer to the truth.

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Trollface

Because all of the projects that ever go wrong/late/over-budget are govt ones, right chaps?

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> Because all of the projects that ever go wrong/late/over-budget are govt ones, right chaps?

Undoubtedly not, but one failed Government IT project is likely to cost about 10+ times of that of an ordinary company's failed IT project, and will affect a proportionately large number of people.

It's the economy of scale...

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Anonymous Coward

Because all of the projects that ever go wrong/late/over-budget are govt ones

nosir, the private sector has its share of fuckups. It's just the scale of gov failures (or exposure to public, ehm... scrutiny, perhaps) which, like a beacon of fuckability, makes them stand out and shine in the dark.

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But the government do have a high percentage of schemes that either;

A) Cost more than they should

B) don't offer what it was designed for

C) don't work

D) scrapped

E) any combination of the above.

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Anonymous Coward

missing the obvious question

My main question here is how the f*ck does it cost so much in the first place?

It's really not doing anything complicated.

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Re: missing the obvious question

The problem, as i under stand it, is trying to make sure that Mr Smith of Flat A, back. 102 Pembroke avenue, Stroud. Isn't the same person as Mr J Smith of Flat A, front. 102 Pembroke avenue, Stroud.

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Re: missing the obvious question

#1: Mr Smith of Flat A, back, 102 Pembroke Av, Stroud..........NI# UY878302D

#2: Mr Smith of Flat A, front, 102 Pembroke Av, Stroud...........NI# BJ967543G

I thought we were all uniquely identifiable from age 16....could be wrong.

(NI= National Insurance Number.....you only get one!)

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Re: missing the obvious question

The National Insurance Number is not unique. It should be. It's meant to be. But it isn't.

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Sad state of affairs...

That we are now so used to this type of cock-up, that it is now accepted as the norm rather than the exception.

It still staggers me the amount of money involved in these contracts and how little accountability these fuckwits have. If a private corporation has a department that wrote off a cool 140 mil, heads would roll! Slimey fucking politicians, waste of air...

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Devil

So, once again...

... IDS is revealed to have lied to Parliament.

Naturally he will now resign his post in disgrace...

... and next week Satan will be ice-skating to work...

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And who really believes anything this man says:

Running a department that is consistently being pulled up for abuse of statistics we are now supposed to believe they are getting the maths right ?

Its been a dogs dinner from start to finish with this man employing every trick in the book to have us believe he was "on top of things" however true to form has a list of excuses and blames others when it obviously isnt working.....

Fortunately the private firms that are involved still get their ludicrous payouts even in failure, cant have the private sector suffering can we.....

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They should sack the civil servants involved - say, from the most senior down, one sacked per £million over budget and week late. That might focus the minds of the useless chair-warmers in Whitehall and produce an IT project that worked for once.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually what would happen is that no one would take the job and we'd all sit around merrily stroking our vme's while ten grand contractors fart around because they don't understand gvt.

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You cant

Because the unions will fight every case for unfair dismissal.

Take portsmouth city council's legal eagle a few years ago... cocked up the contract for the millenium tower, ended up costing the council an extra £5 000 000,including about £1 000 000 in extra legal fees and the tower delayed being finished until 2005.

His reward was early retirement with full pension and lump sum because it was alledgedly cheaper than fighting an unfair dismissal case....

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Seeing as most IT projects are outsourced and handled by the private sector sacking civil servants would have no effect on the production of a working system.

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Re: You cant

And the lift still doesn't work.

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Its early days

You can tell its early days because this article fails to mention IBM, Hewlett Packard, BT and (mainly) Accenture who are delivering the system.

I guess stage one pissed off is to say the project is overdue and over budget, stage two is to name the contractors and stage three is to make stupid public comments like "you'll never work in this town again" (whilst signing yet more contracts with the same people).

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FAIL

"cash wasted on IT assets that have now been written off to the tune of £140m in taxpayer money to date"

Only in government can you piss £140m up the wall, with more to come most likely, and still have your job! If you've managed to make that a much of a mess of it when there aren't even 1,000 people on it last I heard, then you need to go work on the friers at McDonald's which may be more responsibility on a level more suited to your talents.

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"Only in government can you piss £140m up the wall, with more to come most likely, and still have your job!"

Oh really, I challenge you to name 2 examples from this week where this is true.

No, hang on, that's still pretty easy...

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Trollface

IT Fire Sale

Will this kit turn up on eBay, or are we just talking about £140 millions for badly written code?

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Flame

One rule for them, another for us.

Anyone else, bar a banker maybe, loosing that sort of money would lose a lot more than their job, probably their liberty too by landing in jail. Seems like being a minister, elected democratically by the people for the people of-course, is the ultimate form of Limited Liability Company, even your job is immune from being touched, for at-least five years whilst you rake in some decent dough on a generous MP's wage until the next election. If voted out, you can then get some cushy job paying over £100k a year working a few days a week, if that, advising, more often than not, a bank, as one now has inside knowledge of government to 'help' their new employer, i.e. how get into government projects guaranteed to be cash cows, even if they are doomed to failure from the start. Nice.

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