Re: Fraud Vs Incompetence
It actually tells you in the article.
Only certain companies are in a position to tender for such large contracts. All of these companies deal in quantity over quality. The more complex the customer system, the more time they can bill - why would they recommend improvements if it reduces their income?
If the client has 5 systems all doing the same thing and all the owners think it should be done by theirs, then you have inter-departmental rivalries, not to mention huge overlap in responsibilities.
The vendors have a stake in deploying as much kit as possible, because a 4 year support contract plus licenses will cost more than the kit itself (a lot more).
In the end though, what it all boils down to is that there is no ONE person who is in charge and responsible for the delivery (from within HMRC) and all the decisions are made by committee and consist of bean-counters and sales reps without an ounce of real-world experience of deploying large scale enterprise projects.
I will happily give HMRC some free advice: Hire someone from the Internet world who has experience of deploying large scale infrastructure and reconciling existing systems (plus a large dollop of live critical system migration). Put them in charge of ALL IT decisions that could reduce complexity and overlap - regardless of what the department heads say. Last, but not least, pay them a lot of money to do the job properly and the authority to make decisions stick. This way they will save you vastly more than the project is costing us. Please.