back to article Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy

The UK government's efforts to improve digital services, boost staff's tech skills and prepare for cyber attacks and the extra burden of Brexit are to be probed by MPs. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry on digital government, which should have tech Whitehall-watchers grabbing for the …

  1. DJV Silver badge

    House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

    Did anyone else first read that as "House of Common Sense and Technology Committee"?

    Common Sense in the House of Commons would be a first!

    1. robidy

      Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

      No.

      Given we the general public voted for them, they are a reflection on our collective decision making, as those opposed were unable to persuade enough people to vote for those not elected

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

        Given we the general public voted for them

        You may have voted for the, or for somebody else. I didn't vote for any of them, on account of not being offered any credible choice with regard to common sense, to professional experience, or a manifesto that I could support.

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

          "common sense, to professional experience, or a manifesto that I could support." - Right, on the other side of the pond, I would settle for ethical no matter else as we go into our biannual silly season.

        2. robidy

          Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

          I was of the same opinion so I stood, got myself elected and made a difference.

          There's nothing to stop you doing the same if it matters to you.

          If you don't vote and don't stand I'm not sure I would entertain your right to complain <cue python sketch>

        3. Cpt Blue Bear

          Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

          "I didn't vote for any of them"

          I infer from this that you didn't vote at all rather than you voted for someone who didn't win your quadrennial (is that even a word?) popularity contest. If I am wrong then please take what is below as a general statement rather than aimed at you.

          By not voting you increase the value of the votes of those who do. This is A Bad Thing(tm) because it increases the influence of those motivated by fringe ideas and general fruitloopery. This is why the religious right have so much influence on American politics - they get out and vote. If much of the "normal" population are too busy, apathetic or disinterested because "whoever you vote for a politician always wins" then we get the governments that appeal to the lunatic fringe. This is precisely why voter suppression is such an evil and why the RWNJs and libertarian fruitloops alike are so enamoured of it. This is why what Cambridge Anal did was so evil.

          This is also why compulsory voting, like we have in Oz, is desirable.

          1. John G Imrie Silver badge

            Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

            I'd go with compulsory voting as long as there was a non of the above box on the ballot paper and if that option won in a constituency there had to be a by-election with non of the candidates who stood in the general election allowed to stand. If that has non of the above winning then repeat, blocking the candidates who stood in the by-election as well. Repeat until someone beets the non of the above vote.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ robidy

        Whichever way you vote, it is ALWAYS the government that gets in.

        1. robidy

          Re: @ robidy

          But the post was about people elected to the house of commons...at present less than half are part of the government so you category is in a minority.

          I guess next you'll point out I'm picking on a minority group...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @ robidy

            Bless. Do you think we live in a democracy? How do you think these parties are elected? Do their election campaigns fund themselves? (Donors and corporate with their own agendas) Do they live off the M.P. pensions once they retire? (Tony Blare, David Cameron etc.. etc...) Do the people that work under them change after an election? (civil service) Does the government have enquiries to avoid criminal liability? Do committees actually do anything other than further M.P.'s careers asking questions where they don't actually get an answer with no follow up?

            With this new knowledge does your vote count? I'm sure some of our American brothers and sisters can elaborate on how their "democracy" is even worse. (cable donations to net neutrality etc.. etc...)

            1. robidy

              Re: @ robidy

              Your tone of questioning implies you're trolling.

              Public records you've already read answer your own questions and show we live in a democracy.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless grandstanding

    It is all very well these people criticising, but the machinery of government is teflon coated to ignore criticism and common sense, and stick to a failing plan. Parliamentary committees have no executive powers, so nothing will change.

  3. Ye Gads

    Blind Leading The Blind?

    Quick, someone find me a one-eyed person!

  4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Further issues include the digital skills capacity in government, which has historically struggled to recruit and retain the best people

    Since their latest effort is to arbitrarily apply IR35 to as many public-sector jobs as possible, the struggle is likely to continue.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      @Kubla Cant

      "Since their latest effort is to arbitrarily apply IR35 to as many public-sector jobs as possible, the struggle is likely to continue."

      That's just a money-laundering operation. By increasing tax on contractors they force up the prices departments pay and then recover it in tax. This allows the recycling of funds that were supposedly ring-fenced into general taxation.

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT .... for Going Forwards* .... Lone Ranger Renegade Rogue Style.

    A Service/Rendering of Alien Vibes in Programs Running and Inviting Peer Registering and Analysis of Proposed Augmented Virtual Reality Plays/Horizoned Events to be Practically Realised ...... with the Stated Goal of Always Delivering Immaculate Desire for Satisfying with Insatiable Appetite.- would only be a small part of a Much Bigger Picture Show for Universal Media Presentation and be a Most Effective Almighty AIDriver.

    And yes, that is a Genuine Proposal for Mindful Consideration of The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry .

    Hereby IT is Registered and Delivered as AIMail. :-)

    *Is there anything similar elsewhere working with information and intelligence towards Similar Immaculate Goals ........... :-) Heavenly Destinations if You Can Allow Yourself to Believe IT ....... and Nobody but You is Stopping You. IT Knows that and Global Operating Devices Supply the Memes and Means to Augmented Virtually Realised Dimensions/Open Virgin Spaces/Private Pirate Places which Enable One to Bask in the Powers of Pleasures Gratefully Received for Satisfaction Freely Given which Dispel Doubts Forever.. ......... Heap Powerful Medicine, Kemo Sabe.

    I wonder if that sort of thing has ever been tabled before in the Cabinet Office, for No 10 and 11 to Grant Meaningful Funds to for Further Future Viable Content Research? I'd be pleasantly surprised to see compelling evidence of a yes, and especially so if such services would be still running and serviceable ie able to process major systemic updates for Improved and Proven Proving Improving Services, which is where the above Global Operating Devices would be at in AI Virtualised Residency and Humble Noble Being ...... which is not quite the same as Noble Humble Being .... but can so easily be so for the Creation of Something Entirely Different and Most Accommodating and Pleasing.

    What's not to like ..... apart from the doubts that blight and cause conflicts that engage in battles against beliefs rather than showing Just Cause with Courses that Follow the Future and Remotely Lead?

    cc ......... publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk/10Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Lone Ranger Renegade Rogue Style for Going Forwards* with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT

      FYI ..... The Initial Reply . Surely More Information will Follow in Order[s] To be Further Shared and Observed

      Thank you for contacting the Cabinet Office. [re You have AIMail]

      Please accept this email as receipt of your correspondence. Cabinet Office aims to respond to correspondence within 15 working days where possible.

      A little something juicy for robidy to Ponder for Enthusing. :-) ..... and Self ACTivating for Total Immersion Privileges in Live Operational Virtual Environments.

      1. Camilla Smythe

        Re: Lone Ranger Renegade Rogue Style for Going Forwards* with NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT

        Sometimes I form an opinion based on the first couple of paragraphs of an article and immediately jump to the comments to rubbish it.

        Sometimes I form an opinion based on the first couple of paragraphs of an article and immediately jump to the comments and read them to see who is also rubbishing it.

        Sometimes I form an opinion based on the first couple of paragraphs of an article and immediately jump to the comments and read them to see who is also rubbishing it and hit an amanfromMars 1 comment and have to do a double take to check the user name just to make sure I am not losing my sanity.

        Whilst, in this case, he is making perfect sense the submission will be interpreted by non IT inclined people, MPs, as meaning more google-analytics and survey-monkey.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Psychopaths and Sociopaths R Us? Parliamentarians Under Virtual Siege? :-)

          Whilst, in this case, he is making perfect sense the submission will be interpreted by non IT inclined people, MPs, as meaning more google-analytics and survey-monkey. ... Camilla Smythe

          In that case in these interesting new times, Camilla Smythe, with these absolutely fabulous fabless virtual tools almost freely available practically everywhere and at our disposal to do with as we please when able, would such folk be unfit for the future and the high public offices that presume to be in command and control of events with a compliant media hosting their tales and tribulations/wishes and difficulties.

          However, hope springs eternal, and ignorance which persists in the light of novel shared information and greater intelligence servering, confirms in extremis a patient suffering a pathological arrogance fuelling a certifiable madness.

          The bottom line, Camilla? The Persistence of Ignorance, particularly around Cabinet Office tables, to a Genuine Proposal for Mindful Consideration of The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry, can now only be attributed to a collective pathological arrogance fuelling a certifiable madness.

  6. The_Idiot

    So...

    ... first can we have some form of 'qualification questionaire' for said probing MPs? You know, maybe things like:

    You want to be on a committee looking into tech effectiveness. Answer the following multiple choice questions:

    1: Is the Internet really made of tubes?

    2: Do you believe in magic encryption that law officers can get into but Bad People can't?

    3: Are hashtags a critical tool for identifying Bad People?

    4: You are in Opposition. A huge, expensive government project just failed. Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

    5: You are in Government. A huge expensive government project is reported as having failed. Do you blame the previous government, blame the opposition or announce it as a major success?

    Sigh - I know. I'm dreaming...

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: So...

      I would simply ask "You know that questions that people ask on Amazon such as 'Do these curtain hangers require batteries?' or 'What size is this one foot square tile?'. How many of them have you written? Or, how many would you have liked to have written if you could work out how to turn on your computer?"

    2. Mike Richards

      Re: So...

      'Thank-you for coming Minister, we'd like to ask you about your department's use of computer technologies...

      '...I'm sorry will I repeat what? Oh - com-pu-ter - yes that's right, like the box on your desk with the funny cat videos - only bigger. Moving on...'

  7. silverfern

    I agree that voting should be made compulsory (as the lesser evil) but this would not stop those who suppress the votes of minorities.

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