back to article Cabinet Office chucks hefty rulebook at paper-chewing gov bods

The Cabinet Office expects all government offices with new or redesigned online transactional services created after April to be compliant with its money-saving, IT-tightening digital service standards by April 2014, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said yesterday at a gathering of "digital warriors". Outlining the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Digital warriors?

    I can imagine the interviews for civil servants that want to become digital warriors.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Digital warriors?

      Makes me want to puke, why can't people just concentrate on their jobs rather than waste time and irritate normal people by inventing macho bull titles.

      MLF again! How does a washed up/failed dot-commer get to be a gov advisor?

  2. Rono666

    Oh dear

    You just know it's going to go tit's up

  3. taxman
    Thumb Down

    Expensive train crash to come?

    How on earth are these guys going to ensure that the person connected to the data is the correct person basing it on name, DoB and address? Son/daughter named after father/mother at same address? Young children already getting voting papers? What about people already signed up for services - are they expected to re-register or will they be migrated over (heaven help us there too!).

    Oh and not to forget coporate users - will these be linked to a company name or an entity within the company. Oh and agents. mustn't forget about them. See they haven't even been brought into the equation yet.

    And notice the lack of any Bank names who typically deal with customers electronically except.....PayPal?! Remember this is intended as an assured identity sufficient to securely link an online identity with a Government service?!

    And who will foot the bill if there is a case of an 'unauthorised' person/company gaininig access to a users account and getting benefits etc fruadulently - let alone get access to a load of personal data!

    Whoever is guiding the Cabinet Office on this is really out on a limb!

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Expensive train crash to come?

      "Whoever is guiding the Cabinet Office on this is really out on a limb!"

      We're talking about the Cabinet Office. What makes you think they'd accept advice from anyone?

  4. xyz

    Digital Warroirs...I can just see them....

    ...with a table covered with toy servers and little models of sysAdmins being pushed about. Then they'll have meetings about strategy (forever).

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Sprint 13?

    Oh yeah. I've been to one of those "conferences". Doesn't it mainly involve a few lectures, pep talks, lunches etc, then schlepping around a trade show getting gradually weighed down with more and more sales brochures, bits of paper and pointless freebies until your legs break under the strain and you have to get a taxi home?

  6. Lars Silver badge

    The paperless office

    I have been waiting for that too, even at home, but the reality, I suppose, is that it will never be. We use simply use more and more paper.

    As for using all those multinational companies to provide services and software I believe any country would perform better by doing it in house, steadly year after year with, a not so big, but experienced lot of people.

    That possibility was kicked out the window, years ago, which is a pity.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    read the sprint blurb a while ago, seemed pretty much content free to me, nothing you could actually go away and do? It all looks a bit to me.

  8. Frankee Llonnygog

    Come in to my digital garden, says Maude

    The Cabinet Office has so far delivered:

    a couple of purchasing frameworks that have generated less in savings than they cost to implement;

    a refresh of the government website aimed at removing any vestige of control from departmental subject matter experts;

    and, a set of digital policy documents that list all the things departments planned to do anyway, before Cabinet Office stuck its oar in.

    (Hence Cabinet Office's attempt to claim undeserved credit for DVLA's digital efforts, for example)

    Far from streamlining and shrinking purchasing agreements, they have instead added an extra layer of bureaucracy , making the whole process more expensive and inaccessible to their cherished SMEs. In return, the big consultancies have wasted no time in employing a bunch of ex-Whitehallers skilled in telling Cabinet Office what it needs to hear.

    What the Cabinet Office has so far excelled in is a massive campaign of self-aggrandisement to cover a complete lack of delivering even the smallest project, of the sort that government agencies routinely and successfully deliver (yes, it does happen).

    Their endless meddling, along with their complete lack of any useful experience in large-scale procurements or development, has made the most hated department in Government Their first attempt to deliver something significant will be the Digital Identity initiative. It's fair to say that the rest of the Civil Service is not wishing them good luck with this.

    Decode the Maude-speak about better customer service and what it really boils down to is making call centre and back office staff redundant, and if you, dear customer, can't use the internet, well, tough luck.

    Looked at in that light, if Universal Credits crashes and burns, less money gets paid out to benefits claimants – talk about snatching a manifesto-commitment from the jaws of failure!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Come in to my digital garden, says Maude

      Up until 2 years ago the priority for any Gov system was to make sure it was "inclusive" enabling everybody especially vulnerable and elderly citizens could use and benefit from any new system. Now it's all about making systems sexy/bleeding edge, unless you are on-line or have access to a library with IT and don't care about your personal data being collected and lost then forget about using gov services.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £4bn waste

    "the UK government was spending £6bn a year on IT"

    And how much of that was wasted on failed/aborted projects?

  10. Corinne

    Impossible timescale?

    "The new Digital Service Standards for Government will be published in April, and all new government sites and services after that date will have to be compliant"

    Going by past experience, these standards won't be finalised until the day before they are released. So how on earth are any systems anywhere close to completion supposed to comply? Was on a project that was caught out by this many many years ago, new standards were finalised after we'd gone into user testing which required a fair bit of re-writing and therefore a delay. we then got in trouble for over running on both budget & time (sigh).

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Impossible timescale?

      Not only that, but you'll have to write bespoke adaptors to plug into their common Performance Dashboard which they've built themselves using Cool Tools. They haven't yet twigged that their habit of using reinventing the wheel condemns every one else to bespokery. Whatever happened to off-the-shelf?

  11. MartinSullivan

    Same Old, Same Old

    For all the New World Order Open-Guffery that's pouring out of these shindigs, it's la plus ca change. Example, and my particular bug-bear, Universal Jobmatch, which in-spite of £20M and all the expertise that Monster can muster is as crap, if not worse, than the old Jobseekers Direct. Except, it's no longer fair-use for the Great Unwashed to try and fix it, or explore just how dubious some of the 'vacancies' that are posted on there are --

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