No one is surprised, the house of cards is starting to topple and the department's are starting to see past the smoke and mirrors. 700 people to build a website. And they are proud of that.
15 posts • joined 9 Jul 2012
What a coincidence. New Minister for Cabinet Office in place and the first major contract is let in breach of the GDS fascist regime. The dam has burst and I think the big departments will soon start to shove past the red tape and deliver what they want rather than being held up for years by the individual opinions of a small group of technology illiterates.
Andy was a good CIO, shame he got forced out by the Cabinet Office because he didn't exhibit the required deferential and cultist like behaviour with regards 'digital' and 'cloud'.
Imagine refusing to compromise your requirements to shoehorm your tech into the latest fad solution, madness.
I think the election will begin the unravelling of GDS. For all the good work that has been done (such as in OPG on lasting power of attorney), there has been a litany of failures, mostly limited to an attempt to interact with any service or solution of any great scale.
I think GDS would have been better served remaining as a small, agile delivery body rather than trying to fling its weight about in the departments by determining strategies. Without the political nous of Francis Maude giving them air cover, I can't see the big departments actually bending the knee to them for much longer. I'm struggling to think of a politico with the amount of capital in the bank to maintain such a grip on departmental spending as Maude had.
That said, Maude's appointments - Maxwell being the obvious one will surely be quickly out the door should anything other than a Tory led government end up being returned in May.
The scrapped system was being implemented "at pace" to get it in place before the general election.
Having written off £300m to Accenture, IBM and HPES, GDS take over development. 6 months later GDS run a mile ... DWP replan to a schedule that would have been a realistic place to start from 5 years ago.
It's a good idea, but it is time for people to stop underestimating the complexity when flying in to 'save UC' ... I'm currently watching from the sidelines waiting for the next Director to skip on to something easier, retire or resign ... it's a poison chalice.
Wonder if they are going to force departments into this solution irrespective of whether it works for them. Last I heard this deal lives and dies on whether the big departments get on board ... and with an election in the offing, and Francis Maude having resigned will GDS have the same authority to mandate approaches as they have over the last four years?
So what happened to the money?
I think the key issue on these savings that is seldom asked is ... 'What happens to the money'. Public sector financing is such that a department gets a big chunk of money each year and then spends it as it sees fit. GDS has some control over any of this spend that falls into IT. BUT (and here is the key bit) if GDS force a reduction in scope and reduce the costs of a programme .... what happens to the saved money... It doesn't go back to HMT (for such an act would be an admission from a department that they asked for too much, and impact budgets next year!), rather it is reallocated to AN Other IT project or area of spend. All departments run huge portfolios of projects and there is always a need for money. So the money isn't 'saved' at all.
I think rather than bemoaning a lack of evidence, the NAO should call Cabinet Office out and investigate the actual value being added by these layers of bureaucracy.
Re: Benefits are not a "handout"
If your wages aren't enough to support your family, why did you have a family?
Benefits should not enable people to make or support life decisions precluded to people who work.
The very notion of the 'benefit trap' appears to be a challenge for you to comprehend.
Certainly no formal blacklist, but do you think that UKGov would give them a contract following the Flex fiasco and the DWP contract screw up? It makes commercial sense to not suffer the costs of bids that are doomed to failure and focus efforts in attaining work from companies without a historical experience of poor service.
Mobile networks here run algorithms to extract memorable numbers ... I used to do it for TMUK for a few years. I recall simple numbers that were sequential or had repeating sets of numbers being cheap and popular with costs of up to 1500 for a number that had the last 6 digits sequenced or identical.
So we do it in the UK too ... I recall a rumour I heard that a customer, on hearing Orange had been allocated the 07777 prefix range offered them some obscene sum to have the 777777 suffix.
Re: Nice Design
A cursory glimpse at the internets will let you know that the government has actually hired people into the GDS to build and run the service. Tom Loosemore led a lot of the web work and the executive direction came from Mike Bracken ... so yeah, not an agency.
Cynicism is expected and healthy, but it pays for it to be based in fact rather than lazy speculation.
Lets get proper retro ...
One 2 One is quite old, but lets get back in the 80s when hair was stupid and phones were larger Smart for2.
ERG driving departments to cut the length and tie in of major contracts, but such leviathains as DWP and HMRC retain either a single, or set of contracts with tier 1 suppliers and despite these being 'non-exclusive' they still do not procure outside them as the cost of doing so would negate any savings.
Unless the centre begins to enforce the absence of these integrator contracts, business will keep going to them and not to SME.
I'd be surprised if Smith was handed the post ... his team at DWP are exceptional inspite of him, not because of him.
I'm wondering which of Watmore's private sector army will go next, Pitchford from MPA, maybe?