Nice to see
Some slightly good news in amongst the recent spending disasters; here's hoping the NHS get to put the dosh to something useful and necessary that is delivered on time and does the job for a change.
A man can dream.
An American IT company has returned £170 million to the NHS after a project they promised to deliver was declared impossible. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) coughed up the refund last week after finally admitting that it could never deliver the Lorenzo computer system it was contracted to create for the NHS. The NHS made …
Isn't business fun? I'm sure that if they could have avoided returning refunding the £170m thery would have, no matter what they'd delivered.
Any news on how the companies kicked off the NHS money-pile earlier are getting with their legal quest for compensation for the work that they didn't deliver? Just wondered.
Having been at one of the companies placing a bid when the bidding for this took place, and having discussion with a couple of the bid leaders, the commercial terms and ability of local NHS trusts to change the requirements as they saw fit, at any time, caused no end of headaches and resulted in a decision that the business was not a good one to win...
No wonder this ended up as being impossible. It was pretty obvious many moons past...
They've been working for years, with presumably a large team in place. I doubt many of us software developers would agree to pay back an entire project budget either in similar circumstances, it would mean going bust.
Considering a large part of the blame has to rest on the NHS/government to begin with, getting such a large part back is a good achievement.
How exactly do you come to the conclusion that it is the NHS / Governments fault that this company could not build the software? Shifting goalposts perhaps? Badly defined goals? Maybe the NHS constantly updating the product spec?
We don't know if any of these three things is true, but if any are, lets face it, thats still a fail on the part of the company for not defining the contract well enough and the project manager / customer liaison not keeping the customer to the agreed spec.
So yes, £30 million for the square root of sod all, and possibly being incompetent as well.
It's astonishing that the company were paid so much before delivering anything. A good contract will only pay a small percentage to the supplier to cover start up costs and nothing more until some sort of value has been seen to have been delivered (e.g. system requirements analysis, design reviews, acceptance tests, etc). Where are the contracts managers in the NHS?
Which is the problem at the root of the woes of government IT.
The way it works in the real world is: "You screw us, we shitlist you.".
IIRC, this did once happen when the previous Tory administration actually *did* shitlist one of the big consultancies, causing much smacking of gobs and gasting of flabbers at the time. Again IIRC, the firm in question promptly opened its "political donations" wallet to Bliar's mob and got their noses back into the trough come the next election. Nothing like a nice, fat bribe to focus the minds of politicians.....
1. PM creates pork barrel project to make his legacy.
2. Quickly the incumbent Party realises spending billions on employing a few techies and thousands of care in the community types is a good way of getting votes.
3. Chancellor keeps it going, for votes.
4. Someone also notices that if it goes live, corrupt Muslim doctors will tell their friends at the mosque, that their wife or daughter's on the pill, or has had a secret STD, or has had an abortion, and that will result in murder to preserve the family honour.
5. Since the election is now over, the project can be canned by the new government who didn't start it.
6. Go to step 1.
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