back to article Gov IT contractors hire staff in India to work on benefits system

Hundreds of computer technicians in India are being hired to help develop an IT system for the government's universal credit welfare programme, work potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds, despite promises that large data projects would remain in the UK. Workers in Bangalore and Mumbai are being hired by the …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not a fan of outsourcing

Accenture is run from in the US, but headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes. They moved their headquarters to Ireland after the IRS started sniffing their previous HQ in Bermuda.

Don't expect too much tax revenue for the UK.

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When can we expect to see Parliament outsourced?

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Coat

Parliament was outsourced

To Funkadelic.

During the Clinton administration.

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Thumb Up

Re: Parliament was outsourced

I want to upvote this twice.

I'm easily amused.

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I'm with you, lets both outsource and offshore the government.

I do believe that we have the skills and people in the UK to do the job, but feel that the government always gets in the way, changing the goal posts, specs and causing the big projects to fail - How many of us I wonder could have put together a simple NHS database system, for a fraction of the cost and within a short timescale, without government interventions?

Just my two rupees worth...

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Anonymous Coward

As I said to Chris Grayling in an email three days ago...

I don't know what's more embarrassing; the fact that they've off-shored it to make you look like an idiot, or the fact that they've conned the government into paying for hundreds of people working on it.

Whatever the system is, I could write it in under a year and deliver it, with 8 colleagues of my choosing.

Feel free, if the embarrassment gets too bad, to redirect the 525 million to me, on condition of working. i.e. 1 million pounds down payment, 524 million on delivery.

Half a billion quid for a web based excel spreadsheet. You have to be shitting me. I wrote the whole of xxx (removed because customer's name is their business) xxx for 400 grand.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: As I said to Chris Grayling in an email three days ago...

That's how you deal with MPs/Ministers, call them an idiot in the first sentence, I'm sure his secretary will have read on past there. Possibly he/she even got to the bit where you said that you and a few mates will be able to knock off a £0.5BN project in a year before it was binned.

Either way, your post didn't get to the intended recipient. If you really want to get an MP/Minister to read a mail, send a letter, make it polite, don't brag about how you could do it better, don't insult them, certainly don't be sarcastic and definitely don't swear.

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Anonymous Coward

Threads

Oh dear.

I feel for the UK guys when they have to maintain the sh1te that comes out of India. I'm encouraged by Giles Jones, incredibly typically British name.

But in 12 years of having to deal with code developed in India it is never pleasant. Threading is a joke, systems are always compromised on quality and performance. Our Indian cousins tend to use as many different libraries and frameworks as they can. Not becuase they are the correct frameworks/libraries for the solution being developed, for more important reasons -- their CV. They need to build their CVs quick as they are likely to be moving on to a new job in a few months requiring experience in that framework...

If this project is to be built in India, it will fail. It will never perform as hoped and the chaps back in the UK will likely be the ones carrying the can. Sad.

Anybody started a goverment petition forcing Accenture and IBM (and others, ATOS??) to build this stuff in the UK that I can sign yet?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Government work MUST be done by UK citizens only

As one person pointed out earlier we should be like the US. Government work can ONLY be done by UK citizens.

The Income stays in the UK.

The employment rate goes up

Taxes come down

People being trained goes up.

This rule should be non negotiable.

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The same thing happened at RBS after it was rescued and hence mostly government owned. Work moved to India. Lots of IT redundancies.

Everyone who's seen Indian outsourcing in action can guess what happened next. Quality went down the pan. Costs actually went up after initially looking like they were lower. Total screw up.

This will be a monumental disaster. And that's BEFORE considering any privacy issues.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't forget...

Don't forget though that Stephen Hester will almost certainly be leaving RBS after he "turns it round" and the mess of the India Development Centre will be for the next guy to deal with.

Say what you like about Fred Goodwin, but he never offshored (although did buy some companies who had), he stopped NatWest's off shoring and stayed with the company sufficiently long that he saw what happened because of these policies. (ABN Purchase aside!)

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Well that's preposterous.

We pay our taxes, in part to fund the work of our civil servants and they then outsource those taxes. What a fucked up financial situation this country's in.

I know, let's haemorrhage cash abroad in every conceivable way and see what happens, guess what? We're skint.

What's the exit plan?

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Anonymous Coward

Source Code

Who will be checking the source code that that the off-shore developers create?

Will it be checked for "extra features" that pay more than it should under certain criteria when family members move to the UK?

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Big Brother

Re: Source Code

I was thinking the same thing, this development should surely be restricted at least, the code should be protected and developed in a controlled environment within this countries boundaries by cleared personnel.

Big brother should be watching this, but they seem more concerned with intruding on civil liberties.

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Stop

Prediction

The govmint will spend 1 billion on this project. The indians will burn through this money and deliver something snail-fast and bug-ridden. In addition, it will do business in new, not yet known ways.

Then five british developers will be given six months to stitch together an "emergency solution" for a million or so. That will actually do the job and continue to be developed for the next thirty years.

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Mushroom

Waste it here

As 75% of government IT expenditure is wasted, would it be unreasonable to ask them to waste it in the country where they collect it?

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Dear El Reg Editors

We really need that Yes (Prime) Minister avatar.

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Based on HP's experience all the "Best Shore" work will have to be redone by UK staff anyway so the net cost actually goes up.

Despite the talk of security and UK jobs etc the real issue we had at HP was that the work coming back was crap, if they did it at all (there were examples of test materials being entirely faked).

Of course nobody was allowed to say this at the time as "Best Shore has to be seen as a success".

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FAIL

Just pretend it's foreign aid...

... because otherwise it makes no sense at all.

You could pay twice as much to have it developed in the UK and it would still make sense not to off-shore. Not only is this tax revenue leaving the country rather than being spent back into the economy, but you've also just increased the unemployment figures...

This is like using your petrol to fuel someone else's car on the basis that they get better MPG than you... (I admit that this fails to include the possibility that we might get some decent software at the end of it, but then how likely is that?)

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Emj

Rock and a hard place - keep it in the UK and the likes of Crapita and HP will screw it up, raise the cost, etc or offshore it for much cheaper and run the just as high risk of having it cocking up somewhere down the line when gov realises they didn't work out the specifications properly. Either way, most gov IT projects fail anyway so at least offshoring it doesn't cost as much in the long run.

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Indeed

@David Hicks I don't know you, but we've had the same conversation with Indian colleagues:

"The top flight people, they all go to the US for the money. The rest of the good people come to Europe for a little less money. What's left is, well, what's left."

I've been lucky, even I would say privileged to work with some excellent Indian programmers.

The caveat: NONE of them still live in India.

We're talking Singapore and Switzerland if you are interested...

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Deja vu

Thought this sounded familiar.

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1022_3-5111987.html?tag=nefd_top

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Anonymous Coward

And when a computer finally passes the Turing test,....

where do you think those india jobs will be outsourced to?

New technology is only scarey to those who aren't making money selling it. I'm off to learn robotics so I can make money of labour-savings devices, ie. robots.

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Thumb Up

MAKES PERFECT SENSE to me!

Makes perfect sense to me! The system will track UNEMPLOYED people. Why would they hire people and thus REDUCE their service population? Off-shoring the work preserves and expands the base of UNEMPLOYED people the system serves. 'Nuff said. (Where's that icon for LMAO?)

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