back to article NAO slams £830m e-Borders IT project as ‘not value for money’

The UK government's spending watchdog has slammed the £830m, 12-year e-Borders project – intended to collect details from passenger lists of all people entering and leaving the UK – as having failed to deliver value for money. “The e-Borders programme began in 2003, with an ambition which has remained largely unchanged in the …

Anonymous Coward

I can't tell you

how much it pisses me off that I have to give my details ahead of travelling to the UK on Eurotunnel.

It's irritating for me and a waste of money to run the system behind it.

I can understand making it mandatory for those who aren't British or EU citizens as you could help make sure they leave. British and EU citizens, on the other hand, are allowed to stay for as long as they like so it just seems like an expensive way for the government to spy on us even more.

I know some people like to blame civil servants for these kind of problems but as has been noted before, with outsourcing, PFI etc. it's been proven that the governmebnt cna waste our money without the need for help from civil servant or anyone else. Now, if only we could make the minister(s) responsible liable in some way.....

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Re: I can't tell you

I can understand making it mandatory for those who aren't British or EU citizens

But that's what makes the whole system so silly. In order to know that you're someone whose details don't need to be collected, they need to collect and check your details.

It's the basic failing behind the whole idea of a zone like Schengen. Once someone is in the zone they're supposed to be able to move freely with no other checks, except that this means the outermost borders of the zone have to be fully trustworthy, the "weakest link" problem. Clearly they aren't, with the best will in the world Greece is never going to be able to police all its external island borders, especially given its current parlous state.

Germany, on the other hand, is rich and has a very small non-EU border. It would be logical for it to help police the Greek and Italian borders, but that's never going to be acceptable to either the Germans (for cost reaons) or the Greeks & Italians (for political reasons).

So, the UK (rightly in my view) wants no part of Schengen. This is even without considering the migrant/refugee problem.

Security theatre wastes more time in transport centres than passport control these days, I really don't care if I have to wave a document at a border crosisng, It's no big deal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't tell you

"has a very small non-EU border"

Indeed it has, but it has no non-Schengen borders as Switzerland is also a Schengen member.

A minor point I know

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can't tell you

To the post before last:

I've got no problem having my passport or ID card checked, although there's no evidence to show that the previous random checks were letting more illegals in than now but it doesn't need to be recorded and it doesn't need to be done in advance and then again at the port. It's the checking in advance and recording whih is a waste.

However, as you've mentioned other countries lack of borders, I'm inclined to think it does work in general. Certainly the EU countries I've worked in outside of the UK don't seem to have more problems with imigrants than the UK, possibly fewer.

The exception would be the recent crisis but again they're allowed to shut borders in a crisis and quite frankly I doubt not having open borders would have helped much. The only way to stop the recent surge in imigrants, or whatever you want to call them, would be very big fences or a mine field as they will walk over anything else.

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Re: I can't tell you

but it has no non-Schengen borders as Switzerland is also a Schengen member.

I was thinking more of it's North Sea and Baltic Sea coastal borders, which are considerably easier to police than Greece's coastal borders. All it's land borders are indeed with Schengen countries.

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It's irritating for me and a waste of money to run the system behind it.

The bizarre thing is that all this money is wasted on border control, and still we have net immigration of a third of a million people a year (and that's before Cameron welcomes a small town's worth of Syrians). If the government are not going to control the numbers coming to the UK, why even bother with expensive but pointless immigration controls?

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and that's before Cameron welcomes a small town's worth of Syrians

Plus of course the ones nobody actually welcomes but who prove impossible to remove, even if they're found in the first place.

Cui bono? I'd really like to know. Or perhaps not...

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Anonymous Coward

> If the government are not going to control the numbers coming to the UK, why even bother with expensive but pointless immigration controls?

Indeed. One in 200 of the houses in my city were burgled last year despite all the police, there's clearly no point at all in my locking the door before I go out. It isn't stopping anyone. D'Oh,.

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The project's 600 stakeholders

Not a promising start for any project.

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Stop

Re: The project's 600 stakeholders

Surely they'll run out of stakes (or the hammers to point them in) with that many?

"I'll hold the stake - when I nod my head you hit it with a hammer".

(I despise, abhor, abominate and loathe the term 'stakeholder'. It's a wooly, imprecise political soundbite. Grrr..)

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Coat

Re: The project's 600 stakeholders

@ CrazyOldCatMan

A different sort of stake, I think, for this analogy. Comes (appropriately in my opinion) from the world of gambling. One who holds each partys' money until the event is resolved. But agree that 600 doomed the project to failure from the start.

I leave it to the reader to analyse what the gamble is and who wins.

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WTF?

"but terminated it in July 2010 citing a failure to deliver milestones" - so the courts say that although Raytheon failed to deliver to milestones in the contract, we still have to pay them? And the lawers?

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Anonymous Coward

I imagine what the courts are saying is that Raytheon haven't broken the contract. It may even be the case that the government were lying when they said milestones hadn't been met or perhpas they just made it impossible to hit the milestones by moving the goal posts all the time :-)

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From other sources..

....such as the Guardian it seems that the main thrust of the checking is not to police immigration but to keep track of criminals and other undesirables plus their vehicles.

There is also far more detail including the high rate of system failures with the current equipment and the fallback to manual checking.

This article seems to be mainly the government spin on the report.

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