back to article Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

The reality of the mammoth task facing the Home Office in preparing for Brexit appears to have sunk in – the department is seeking a technology lead for the UK’s exit from the European Union. They will be in charge of overseeing the EU Exit programme, which the Home Office described as "a layer of IT-enabled change that sits …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It seems to be a generous salary for a job that simply consists of writing reports that say it won't be ready in time and when it is ready it won't work.

    And at the end of last year, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said the UK border could be left exposed thanks to “weak contingency planning” – a particular problem if the UK leaves with no deal.

    How can the border be left exposed by Brexit? We're doing it to take back control.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last time I flew back from the continent I wandered right through Birmingham International.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        fix that for you

        don't worry, after Brexit there won't be any flights

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Reports?

      How long does it take to write

      "Brexit IT is Brexit IT"

      "Red White and Blue Brexit IT"

      "The easiest IT systems in history"

      "Let's spend £350million a week on Brexit IT systems"

      "Oh god, I'm so depressed"

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Reports?

        The cover sheets on all reports must be passport blue.

        1. A.P. Veening

          passport blue?

          Don't you mean French Navy blue?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: passport blue?

            Don't you mean French Navy blue?

            Ummm... yeah... didn't you see the memo?

        2. Chris King Silver badge

          Re: Reports?

          "The cover sheets on all reports must be passport blue".

          Surely you mean "Passeport Bleu", given that Gemalto got that gig ?

    3. Just Enough

      Cushy job

      It could be a very cushy job. It obviously can't be done in the timeframe available. So you either wait for it to spectacularly fail, and walk away (accurately) blaming the Government, or you quit before it happens saying it can't be done.

      Either way you've got half a year's salary out of 100k, with no expectation of delivering anything and no blame allocated your way. Just a pity the entire country gets screwed in the process, but that appears to be standard Brexit policy.

      Or, just maybe, we can only hope, sense prevails and the whole thing is cancelled and you've still got your 50k.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: Cushy job

        It's not a job, it's a blame magnet. You're sure to fail and your actions will be endlessly and totally dissected, with a negative bias.

        I wouldn't take that position for ten times the salary.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Cushy job

        Don't forget the trips to visit all the EU countries too - swimsuit and sunscreen? Put them on expenses.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Cushy job

          swimsuit and sunscreen? Put them on expenses.

          Woo-hoo! Finland in winter!

    4. ToddRundgrensUtopia

      Of course it will work. Crapita aren't involved

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Of course it will work. Crapita aren't involved

        Yet.

        1. Guido Esperanto

          what the job ad doesn't state is 3000 of those people you'll be responsible for will also need to be outsourced to Crapita.

          You'll be a 100k middleman

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'll bet they are!

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Of course it will work. Crapita aren't involved

        Hmm...

        Well that does improve the odds of success from 99:1 against.

        To 98:1 against.

        Maybe as high as 97:1.

    5. streaky Silver badge

      And at the end of last year, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said the UK border could be left exposed thanks to “weak contingency planning” – a particular problem if the UK leaves with no deal.

      Funny because the independent non-political entity who audits this stuff says otherwise. Central thesis is wrong. But it's not politically convenient for media (or MPs apparently) to speak truth any more.

  2. Moog42

    Hahahahaha. No.

    Nothing against Croydon, and a knighthood and complementary Aston Martin from Q wouldn't swing this one.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Nothing against Croydon, and a knighthood and complementary Aston Martin from Q wouldn't swing this one."

      What's the problem? It's not going to last so no need to move there. Any freelancer is likely to have done weekly commutes to similar places.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Croydon is beautiful. Like the Dallas of Surrey.

    1. smudge Silver badge

      I've been to Dallas. And Croydon.

      And I know what you mean!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ok, as someone who has never been to the UK, what is it about Croydon?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          It's shit

          1. andy k O'Croydon

            As with most places that people like to say are shit, I think most of its detractors have never been there.

            "But I've been there and it's definitely shit!"

            Thank you, hypothetical commentard. I suppose anyone can be biased enough to like any place if that's where all your friends and family live though. Me, I think the post being in Croydon is the only reason to take the job!

    2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Trollface

      Surry and Dallas - all in one comparison - explains why no one in their own mind would wish to go there.

    3. DJO Silver badge

      "Croydon" contracted from Crocus Dean which roughly translates to "Saffron Vally".

      Now that conjures an idyllic tranquil scene, shame it's a complete dump.

  4. SVV Silver badge

    Over in Brussels this morning

    They are howling with laughter as the threat to walk away with no deal is made all the more credible by the release of this advert for the job from hell managing changing requirements on top of a layer of other changing requirements, with hopefully sufficient days to get it all started and finished so that everything will run smoothly when the fireworks and flag waving celebration happens a few weeks later.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Over in Brussels this morning

      What the hell are you supposed to do in seven months apart from brace for impact?

      1. monty75

        Re: Over in Brussels this morning

        Spend seven months looking for someone else to scapegoat?

        1. Dominion

          Re: Over in Brussels this morning

          The probability is that someone taking that job is on a 3 month notice period, so by the time they recruit them, wait 3 months, Brexit will have happened. Or not.

          1. Squeffield

            Re: Over in Brussels this morning

            Not only the 3 month notice period, but also the developed vetting I'd imagine the applicant will need to have satisfied before having the appointment confirmed.

      2. Wolfclaw Silver badge

        Re: Over in Brussels this morning

        Look for your next job, with a big fat salary, while you do minor edits to the last report stating all the same failures.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Over in Brussels this morning

        Lube up!

  5. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Not Enough if you ask me

    Given that whoever picks the poison chalice up is going to be publicly blamed for the inevitable train crash that is a doomed from the start government IT contract.

    I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      I think a lump-sum golden hello of, say, €10 million, paid into an Irish hedge fund account, plus a new identity and Irish passport should just about cover it. Thankfully European arrest warrant won't be available to get the lucky winner back from Co.Kerry or wherever they decide to hide out.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      "I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap."

      It's doomed anyway so the only competence required is that of not minding. Any of us retirees could take it on as a nice little addition to the pension.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: Not Enough if you ask me

        "It's doomed anyway so the only competence required is that of not minding. Any of us retirees could take it on as a nice little addition to the pension."

        Just what I was thinking.

        Could be a springboard to another cushy number, if you are thick skinned enough to endure it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap.

      Who said anything about competence being a requirement? This is the civil service we're talking about, and not just any old bit, but the Home Office, Borders & Immigration directorate. This is Fail Central. The ground zero of botched non-working fuckups. The Mount Doom of IT.

      What they'll get is some overly ambitious self promoting lightweight puffball who ticks the boxes on paper. They will either fail to see that the future is already mapped out, or simply won't care. This is a high profile job with a big job title (though I note not a head of or director of), and all the people going for it will see it simply as another stepping stone on the public sector gravy train, leading to a future job with even more money, and the same tolerance of ineptitude.

    4. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      "I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap."

      But there are dozens of incompetents available...

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      Salary: £100,000.00 for possibly less than 1 year's work

      Delivery of project (does not mean that it was successful, just that it was delivered): CBE or higher

      Job pluses: Pension of £59,000 plus lump sum of benefits (30%) at £70,000 (provided you are around for at least 5 years or until aged 67)

      Not forgetting that you will undoubtedly get recruited by Capita in order for them to try and make sense of the work you did so successfully in Croydon

      Job negatives: 12 months of East Croydon hell

    6. MaltaMaggot

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      < I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap >

      .. no, but it would fund a before-and-after-deed-polling

    7. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Not Enough if you ask me

      Maybe it will be paid in ration coupons or euro at May 2017 exchange rates to make it interesting...

  6. Serg
    Coat

    Awesome!

    Take job, take blame when it all inevitably goes TITSUP, move to EU and have a successful career and some great inside stories to tell.

    Sounds good to me!

    Coat, because it's increasingly unlikely that staying (as an EU citizen) is A Good Idea.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Awesome!

      Probably at least a year's supply of publishable On-Call stories.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Awesome!

        "Probably at least a year's supply of publishable On-Call stories."

        Or the ultimate in Who, Me?

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Awesome!

          It's the unpublishable ones I'd really like to see.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Awesome!

        I already have a lifetime of On-call stories, and that was with just 15 years in government IT.

  7. John G Imrie Silver badge

    So let me see if I've got this right

    With just over 7 months to go until B-Day the Home office has started looking for a new manager, a process that is likely to take two months minimum, leaving a couple of months to get up to speed with what the rest of the department is doing, another month to recruit sufficient support staff and two, yes two months to write the report saying we are up shit creak and not only don't we have a paddle, someone has nicked the boat as well.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: So let me see if I've got this right

      Don't forget: requirements elicitation will only just have started IF you are lucky, and even such requirements as are known will be shifting continuously.

      On day one, I would just start writing that report saying we are up excrement creek without a means of propulsion, or indeed floatation, and those handy logs we spotted hopefully just now, have a suspicious number of teeth, and are closing in. After that, see to it that you get airlifted out of there quickly

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: So let me see if I've got this right

      and not only don't we have a paddle, someone has nicked the boat as well.

      Not only don't they have a paddle, but it was never possible to even design a boat to meet all Brexit requirements.

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    They had hiyigh hopes......

    Sooo, it's mid August and they want something ready to go for Autumn?

    Assuming they find a taker who can actually do the job and doesn't get mugged on his way in on the first day, all the gov' then needs to do is get his mates to come and sort out; farming policy, science and technology across borders, customs tariffs and with whom etc etc.

    Is there actually one thing that is up and running for the departure?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

      Blue passports, but a French company is sorting that out.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

        Blue passports, but a French company is sorting that out.

        And if (when) we don't get a deal, they'll be in a lorry parked up in Calais.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

          "And if (when) we don't get a deal, they'll be in a lorry parked up in Calais."

          Actually, I _think_ that company's printing plant is based in the UK. But where are the paper and ink coming from? Hope they've ordered them early and they get delivered before stuff starts happening.

          1. Chronos Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

            Woad is blue, isn't it? Just bring back the woad fund licence...

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

          they'll be in a lorry parked up in Calais.

          And without a True Blue British passport no British citizen will be able to travel to Calais to retrieve them, while no non-British citizen will be able to cross the non-functional UK border in charge of a French lorry no longer licensed to visit Britain and carrying goods for which there is no IT system to record or evaluate the paperwork required by a regulatory framework for imports which has not yet been agreed.

          I'm beginning to think no-one ever really thought this Brexit idea through.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            FAIL

            I'm beginning to think no-one ever really thought this Brexit idea through.

            No one did.

            That was obvious from the day David Davies refused to request any any impact assessments be done by any department.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Jedit
      FAIL

      "Is there actually one thing that is up and running for the departure?"

      Departing is definitely happening on schedule. The fact that we are insisting on disembarking from the plane on time even though takeoff was delayed for an hour and we are still in flight does not appear to be bothering anyone in Westminster.

    3. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Is there actually one thing that is up and running for the departure?

      The escape pods for the MP's?

  9. nuked

    I'd want double that to work in Croydon

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd want double that to work in Croydon

      I'd want double that to visit Croydon.

  10. TrevorH

    So.... interviews at the start of October, by the time they've interviewed the candidates and made their decision and had an offer accepted it'll be at least the end of October. Wait 3 months for them to resign and be released from their current job and they'd be starting around Feb 2019 and this all has to be up and running by March. So start in Feb, fired in March. Good job!

    Why the fsck has this person not been in place since June 24th 2016?

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Happy

      Pay

      So when they said £100k they meant for that one month. This is starting to look reasonable.

    2. GIRZiM

      Re: Why the fsck has this person not been in place since June 24th 2016?

      Three words:

      Dummies.

      Feebs.

      Retards.

      Or 'government' for short.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it's anything like our little corner of the public sector, the Director probably put in the request for headcount on June 24th 2016 but it's taken this long to get HR approval/paperwork sorted.

    4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Joke

      Why the fsck has this person not been in place since June 24th 2016?

      Because it's all a plan to make the whole thing go so badly that there will be such a swing of opinion that the government will have no choice but to cancel it before the deadline?

      I mean, y'know, the other answer is that the government are completely, hopelessly incompetent, couldn't organise a drinking session in a brewery and make a chocolate fireguard look like a prudent and wise investment in health and safety materials...

    5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      IT Angle

      "Why the fsck has this person not been in place since June 24th 2016?"

      Yes, that would be the IT question related to Brexit.

      The thinking behind it will probably be protected under a "year rule"

      30,40,50 or 70 do you think?

      It'll be at least 30 before this bunch want anyone to know the discussions on this clusterf**k were as shambolic as everything else.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    Managing the tech night even be possible. Managing the tech whilst dealing with the ever changing slimy morass of interfering politicians desperate to appear to be involved with any modicum of success and distanced from any hint of failure is close to the dictionary definition of the job from hell.

    Anyone who's do this for the money on offer is nuts. I'm sure there will be a queue out the door of 'technical' SPADs i.e. politics graduates that think they know their way round a Macbook with Dropbox installed.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Unbelievable

    Are they deliberately trying to fail as massively, and destructively as possible?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Unbelievable

      52% are.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Unbelievable

        52% in 2016 but falling rapidly, as far as the YouGov polls go.

        Actually, I have a theory...

        May and her criminal coterie are happy that everything is turning to shit on a daily basis. She did want Brexit, but has realised that it's impossible in any meaningful way. Problem: how to get out of it without ending up dangling from a (metaphorical) lamp-post with a howling mob waving pitchforks around her ankles.

        Answer - blame someone else.

        There's an interesting court challenge underway at the moment that claims that Art50 should not, constitutionally, have been invoked, and the blatant expenditure fraud by Leave means that the whole referendum should be annulled.

        Perfect opportunity for May. "Oh, pooh, blasted judiciary, but the law is the law and must be obeyed. I better withdraw Art 50".

        Shit-storm obviously follows, but at least not national bankruptcy, and May may manage to escape in an open boat in the confusion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Unbelievable

          Shit-storm obviously follows, but at least not national bankruptcy, and May may manage to escape in an open boat in the confusion.

          Well, in that tidy little vignette that you paint, the Conservative party self-immolate and wouldn't be coming back for a long while (I won't miss them, judging by the shambles they've offered us for twenty five years or more), but that means by default the next government would be a Labour government led by Corbyn (or worse, a Corbyn led Labour SNP coalition).

          Given that Corbyn's political judgement makes Trump look like an elder statesman, and his rampant enthusiasm for Chaveznomics, how do you conclude that national bankruptcy would be staved off? Are you expecting the Palestinians to club together and bail out Britain when Corbyn's killed the economy?

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Unbelievable

            I'm expecting a Social Democratic Alliance.

            SoDemAll, if you prefer.

          2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: Unbelievable

            Frankly, given that the average politician is only interested in themselves, all that's to differentiate the buggers is the colour of their tie. What colour lizard would you like to vote for next year?

            Politicians should be highly accountable, transparent and "pillars of society" leading by example. Instead we have a house largely of self obsessed career politicians never able to see further than the next election - i.e. whether they'll be in a job or not. Most are, of course, hedging their bets on the job loss or not by taking as many bribes, embezzling as much as possible and concentrating on "jobs for the boys".

            Cynic? Me? Yes. :)

          3. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Unbelievable

            @ Ledswinger

            "but that means by default the next government would be a Labour government led by Corbyn (or worse, a Corbyn led Labour SNP coalition)."

            That is the one thing that scares the hell out of me. Regardless of the other politics going on the scariest thing floating around currently is the possibility of that nutter getting anywhere near power. That would bring the doomed economy these crying children fear from brexit.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Unbelievable

              That is the one thing that scares the hell out of me.

              That doesn't bother me so much. His leadership has so far been so half-hearted and weak that he'll never manage to get his Blairite MPs to toe the line if he puts forward any radical changes to the economy. He'd be hard pushed to get a few 1990s ideas through Parliament, let alone 1970s. And I say that as someone who would like to see more of a return to the consensus we had in the 1970s (though naturally without the global oil crisis which precipitated so many problems in the UK economy and society that decade).

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Unbelievable

                @ Rich 11

                "That doesn't bother me so much. His leadership has so far been so half-hearted and weak that he'll never manage to get his Blairite MPs to toe the line if he puts forward any radical changes to the economy"

                Hopefully but some of the socialists did manage to get elected in this world and it didnt take long for them to ruin functioning countries. Even with a slim chance of success I still worry about some nutter like that getting anywhere near power because things can go wrong and very quickly.

                For example he took over the labour party who had finally realised that being extreme left wouldnt get them elected. The mistake labour made was having him as an option assuming he could never get in. Now he is the leader of a party with a hope of getting elected and even scarier there are some people who would actually vote for him!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Unbelievable

                  @codejunky

                  "Hopefully but some of the socialists did manage to get elected in this world and it didnt take long for them to ruin functioning countries. Even with a slim chance of success I still worry about some nutter like that getting anywhere near power because things can go wrong and very quickly."

                  err I think your thinking of the fucking tories, they fuck it all up everytime, unless your fucking rich...

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Unbelievable

                    @AC

                    "err I think your thinking of the fucking tories, they fuck it all up everytime, unless your fucking rich..."

                    Fee; free to have that opinion of the tories, thats fine. But as far as Corbyn goes can you name a single successful socialist country in the world currently or in the last century? I can- N.Korea which survives on international aid (from the non-socialists) and because their population is expendable.

                    Your turn to name one.

                    We can debate party politics and such, I have nothing against that at all. But socialism has a 100% failure rate so far no matter how many times its been tried. It has crashed successful economies and killed millions of people at least around the world wherever it has been tried. No exceptions. Any socialist thinking we are in a bad state now has never compared us against the state of socialists.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Unbelievable

                      >Fee; free to have that opinion of the tories, thats fine. But as far as Corbyn goes can you name a single successful socialist country in the world currently or in the last century? I can- N.Korea which survives on international aid (from the non-socialists) and because their population is expendable.

                      >Your turn to name one.

                      According to Fox News, Denmark is an example of a socialist country. Seems fairly successful to me. :)

                      More seriously, the Marxist-Leninist state of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980 under Tito was one of the fastest growing countries in Europe until his death. China is also Marxist-Leninist and quite successful over the last 20 years. Laos, Vietnam and Cuba arguably less so. All four have been stable for 40+ years.

                      Looking at the other brands of socialism, India and Portugal seem fairly successful. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and North Korea are arguably less so. Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt were stable and relatively successful until they fell on the wrong side of the Americans. Multi-party states with governing socialist parties like Uruguay, Bolivia and Greece seem fairly stable to me and the population are voting for these parties, so they must be popular in those countries.

                      >But socialism has a 100% failure rate so far no matter how many times its been tried. It has crashed successful economies and killed millions of people at least around the world wherever it has been tried.

                      So, the failure rate isn't 100%, because we still have socialist countries. Many of them have been recognised as socialist for over 40 years.

                      Capitalism has also killed millions of people around the world, and crashed successful economies wherever it has been tried. Incidentally, as have most major religions.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Unbelievable

                        @AC

                        The Denmark one seemed amusing to me too. They got so sick of Americans pointing at it as a socialist country (go Bernie) that their president publicly made a statement against Denmark being called (insulted) socialist.

                        "Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980 under Tito"

                        I dont know a great deal about Yugoslavia at that time but single leader for 35 years in which political arrests and assassinations ending in a stuffed economy and war does not sound impressive.

                        "China is also Marxist-Leninist"

                        Thats a big no. Under socialism it was peasant farmers and death. They were so economically left behind they were a great example of what people would never want to live under. Then they became more capitalist, free market and opened to the world. The fact that they have jumped from a badly managed and failing country to where they are now is nothing short of a testament of leaving socialism for the real world.

                        "All four have been stable for 40+ years"

                        Being stable is a good start but successful? That would be a hard sell to a successful country such as the one we have. I am pretty sure we can drop the Middle east as even before our intrusion they were not success stories as the UK would buy it and same for the south Americas I expect (hope).

                        "Greece seem fairly stable to me and the population are voting for these parties"

                        Greece voted far left and Golden Dawn. That was not really a push for socialism as a push against the EU/Euro problem which is screwing up Greece (and other members).

                        "So, the failure rate isn't 100%, because we still have socialist countries."

                        So far so 100%. Strip out the Democratic socialists and anything so naff nobody would want to live under it (I stated N.Korea to make the point that its most successful is not a place we want).

                        "Capitalism has also killed millions of people around the world, and crashed successful economies wherever it has been tried"

                        The interesting part of an economic crash under capitalism is the country gets back up. Under socialism people starving to death and government mandating their deaths is the problem. Market capitalism relies on people as they are, socialism relies on 'the new man' to 'evolve' to come to love and live the socialist way. Which is probably why it guarantees failure.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Unbelievable

                          >The interesting part of an economic crash under capitalism is the country gets back up.

                          Trying telling that to the Irish during the 1840s. The Laissez-Faire capitalist policies of one of the British governments of the time made things worse and killed the best part of one million British citizens and forced the migration of many more. The population of the island fell by 20-25% as a direct result, and it took nearly a century to recover.

                          1. codejunky Silver badge

                            Re: Unbelievable

                            @AC

                            "Trying telling that to the Irish during the 1840s."

                            A European plight? Where peasantry lifestyle cause many deaths? I assume you mean the potato famine? How is that related if not to point out how we dont want to return to peasant lifestyles? That is probably more of a warning to people who believe we should grow our own food in our back yards.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Unbelievable

                              >A European plight? Where peasantry lifestyle cause many deaths? I assume you mean the potato famine? How is that related if not to point out how we dont want to return to peasant lifestyles? That is probably more of a warning to people who believe we should grow our own food in our back yards.

                              Apart from the fact that at the time it was the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland (so an entirely British problem), the problem wasn't with Ireland not creating enough food to live on - although the potato famine was particularly bad for the small subsistence farmers, and the landholders were all happy in their Ivory towers with many living in London. The *main problem* was with the capitalist free market policies that meant Ireland was still exporting food to England while millions of people were literally starving.

                              The Corn Laws didn't help in the lead up and during, and the when Peal repealed it in 1846 against the wishes of his Conservative MPs, it bought down his Conservative government.

                              The next government (Whigs under Lord Russel) adopted a "Laissez-Faire" policy and literally left it to the market to fix the problems. Incidentally, a little like our current government are planning to do regarding food and medicine supplies if a no-deal exist occurs. The Minister in charge of Government Relief (Charles Tevelyan) is quoted as saying it was sent to "teach the Irish a lesson" and ordered unproductive work and other policies that made things far worse then they could have been. Landlords evicting tenants to avoid having to give them food was another problem.

                              Lots of parallels with current events if you look hard enough.

                              1. codejunky Silver badge

                                Re: Unbelievable

                                @AC

                                "The *main problem* was with the capitalist free market policies that meant Ireland was still exporting food to England while millions of people were literally starving."

                                Capitalist free market somehow found a better price outside of Ireland and it was worth more to export and starve the workers than to feed them? That doesnt sound very capitalist nor free market. The good news is with current technology food can be transported world wide and easily, although providing money instead of food can work better so they can buy in what they need from wherever suits their market.

                                "The Corn Laws"

                                Protectionist anti free market laws. One reason why all this trade war guff is about charging your own people more for the things they want to buy. Even Junker got that right.

                                "and ordered unproductive work and other policies that made things far worse then they could have been"

                                Government directed, again anti free market.

                                "Lots of parallels with current events if you look hard enough."

                                Probably not in the way your hoping I guess. The EU adding more and more regulation to the point where a white van man not littering becomes an offence. Apparently he needs a licence to not litter. High tariffs to keep out the foreign stuff. The ivory tower of Brussels while Greece had its medical care stopped and its citizens suffered heavy cuts and loss of jobs. The EU leaders talking about punishing the UK.

                    2. Geoff332

                      Re: Unbelievable

                      Corbyn's policies would put tax/spend levels in line with countries like Canada and Germany - hardly socialist. So you're arguing from a false premise.

                      What worries me is that politics has become increasingly cultish (not a typo), around Corbyn, Trump, Brexit, Macron, etc. Reason seems to go out the window when the world's being run by a bunch of cults (still no typo).

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: Unbelievable

                        @ Geoff332

                        "Corbyn's policies would put tax/spend levels in line with countries like Canada and Germany - hardly socialist. So you're arguing from a false premise."

                        Fleece the rich (France tried it and the rich fled here), print money for government spending (Zimbabwe, Venezuela), more power to the unions (UK when we had blackouts and begging the IMF), massive nationalisation especially where the gov are the ones already screwing up, etc. His praise was for Venezuelan policy which went so well. Hardly developed country polities.

                        "What worries me is that politics has become increasingly cultish (not a typo), around Corbyn, Trump, Brexit, Macron, etc. Reason seems to go out the window when the world's being run by a bunch of cults (still no typo)."

                        I do very much agree with that. The reason socialism seems so acceptable seems to be a lack of education. Throughout school and beyond we hear how bad hitler was and the right wing, but the horror of empty shelves, starvation, ruin and other outcomes of socialist attempts has left people fearing a rise of the nazi (not something we want) while forgetting the horror of the Stalin, Mao, Kim's etc (also something we dont want). The lessons have been forgotten.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Unbelievable

              @codejunky @ledswinger

              ""but that means by default the next government would be a Labour government led by Corbyn (or worse, a Corbyn led Labour SNP coalition)."

              That is the one thing that scares the hell out of me. Regardless of the other politics going on the scariest thing floating around currently is the possibility of that nutter getting anywhere near power. That would bring the doomed economy these crying children fear from brexit."

              You really have drunk the daily mail cool-aid.

              We are in this mess due to fuck corrupt greedy fucking tories and the only person in 30+years to actually plan to do something different (policies that have worked and made happy contries) and your more worried than having the insane right fuckwits in charge.

              Fucking insanity no wonder we end up in more and more shit with thinking like that!!

        2. Hans 1 Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Unbelievable

          There's an interesting court challenge underway at the moment that claims that Art50 should not, constitutionally, have been invoked, and the blatant expenditure fraud by Leave means that the whole referendum should be annulled.

          No, no, no, no, no ... there has been a general election since the referendum, and that gave May the mandate to bankrupt the UK. If we pull out now, the leavers are never going to believe us, Brexit is, was and always will be nothing short of pure madness, we (remainers) knew this from the beginning.

          Anything that thinks that the UK can negotiate a deal that is beneficial for the UK, with a club of 500m people (8 times UK's size), as the UK is about to LEAVE!!!!!! needs a brain transplant. I have said it time and time again on here ... EU does not care either way, they'll take our industry, our banking, whatever they can as we leave and we can only watch as it unfolds.

          Project Fear is about to turn into reality, come on, lets keep this going for a few months ...

          In less than 5 years time we'll be on all fours, waiting inline, begging to be allowed back in ... ;-)

          I'd love a pint, gosh, it's Friday!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx4AF-3Rd44

          LCH, Airbus, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, IBM, Hitachi etc ad nauseam all moving considerable numbers of staff and funds to EU land.

        3. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Unbelievable

          "There's an interesting court challenge underway at the moment that claims that Art50 should not, constitutionally, have been invoked"

          I believe there is another court challenge that claims that Article 50 hasn't been invoked.

          The Brexit Act does not say anywhere that we are leaving the EU. It merely authorises the Prime Minister to write a letter saying we are.

          Then there is Article 127, the equivalent in the EEA treaty. That definitely hasn't been invoked, and it requires 1 year's notice. So possibly, we remain in the EEA, like Norway, and the only practical difference from what we have now is that we don't get to elect MEPs.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Unbelievable

      "Are they deliberately trying to fail as massively, and destructively as possible?"

      No. It's all driven by arts graduates who have no knowledge whether what they're asking for is possible or not but have an unshakeable belief that it is. If it were otherwise we wouldn't even be in this position.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This job is one of those jobs that requires...

    Giving those in charge, a black box to hold, handed down from the Elders of the Internet.

  14. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Desirable quality

    A graduate of (or clear willingness to complete) the IPA’s Major Projects Leadership Academy (MPLA)

    Given the MPLA constists of "three, five-day residential modules delivered over a 12 month period interspersed with a demanding schedule of preparation and assignments", there's plenty of scope for a successful candidate to be away "on a course" at the critical moment.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha - good luck finding a sucker for that role..

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      FAIL

      They might as well just change the job description to "Wanted: scape goat." and leave it at that.

      Tell you what, I'll take four time my annual salary to be vilified in the press. How hard could it be?

      what you're expected to do in this role >>>>>>>>>

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suspect it'll go to a non-UK

    EU national. Just for lolz.

    In fact, I might apply using my other EU nationality, and see if they're willing to fight a discrimination suit.

    As Brexiteers are fond of pointing out .... we haven't left yet so have to play under existing rules.

    1. Len Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I suspect it'll go to a non-UK

      It would be an ideal job for someone from another EU country. Take the money, try to learn as much as you can and when it inevitably comes crashing down you just quit and leave the country for sunny pastures new.

      Who cares that some local people and media may want to scapegoat you for the mess? Any employer outside the UK will know you were put in charge of a platform that was already burning before you got there. You're far away in your new job (walking distance from the Mediterranean or nice ski-resorts perhaps?) with hours of hilarious stories to tell.

  17. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Invisible Work.

    So a graduate year 2 salary in an investment bank for a position coordinating national infrastructure, without the means to buy a property in the area. #sixdecimalplaces

  18. Oneman2Many

    Has the government outsourced this to anybody yet ?

  19. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    What's going on with these comments?

    Not one single, "don't you dare criticise our glorious brexit, you traitorous unbelieving remoaners" type post.

    @CodeJunky, where are you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's going on with these comments?

      "@CodeJunky, where are you?"

      You have to say his name 3 times for him to appear.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: What's going on with these comments?

        Maybe the contract with his Russian handlers has expired?

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: What's going on with these comments?

          Maybe him and Bob are interviewing for the job?

    2. codejunky Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: What's going on with these comments?

      @ Loyal Commenter

      "@CodeJunky, where are you?"

      As you miss me so much why not. You probably dont see many of those posts because this is an article on government screwup or daft job etc and Croyden. As far as I have seen both remain and leave criticize this government plenty, So since this doesnt really seem to bother brexit, just another example of government skill and ability why would you see many posts like you miss?

      Just sit back and enjoy the poking of fun at the gov and Croyden. Not everything has to be about blaming Russians and crying into your EU branded mug.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: What's going on with these comments?

        Looks like my troll bait worked.

        Having seen this one though, I think I'll throw it back. It's clearly still a juvenile.

        1. codejunky Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: What's going on with these comments?

          @ Loyal Commenter

          "Looks like my troll bait worked.

          Having seen this one though, I think I'll throw it back. It's clearly still a juvenile."

          I am not sure if I am flattered or should feel pity. You miss me so much you have to ask for me or your life is so unfulfilled without some EU arguing that you have to troll. I wish you the best and I hope things look up soon.

          1. nsld

            Re: What's going on with these comments?

            Ah the demonic love child of Farage and Bankski has risen, like a Frankenstien waiting for XP SP2 to be installed...

            Your shit show is going well @codejunky now the government has finally got round to leaking the 84 sectors reports on how much of a monumental gangfuck your brexit will be.

            And worse, you can't even ride to the rescue as some dubious politics student will get that gig.

            Can't hang around, got an entire economy to short (thanks Mogg and Redwood for the tips) disaster capitalism doesn't just capitalise itself you know.......

  20. WibbleMe

    I would certainly health care in my package for a shriek, that's going to be one of the toughest jobs to put out to tender in a long time.

  21. James O'Shea Silver badge

    I'll take it

    I'll just get my old British passport (and make damn sure that my Irish and American passports are up to date) and go and have a nice six to seven month vacation in the south of London. At the end I'll deliver the final report (I can start writing it as soon as I set foot in Britain, 'cause I _know_ what it'll say) and board a flight back to Deepest South Florida, one step ahead of the Hounds of MayNotVille, having sent my money ahead of me.

    They will have to pay me the 100K GBP in advance, though. Plus an allowance to cover relocation costs. And another allowance to cover renting a place near London. (Have you seen the prices lately? They're worse than Miami Beach, and the scenery's a whole lot better on South Beach!)

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: I'll take it

      They're worse than Miami Beach, and the scenery's a whole lot better on South Beach!)

      Have you read the news lately ? They have a problem with toxic algae ...

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: I'll take it

        That's on the _Gulf_ coast, over on the other side of the peninsula, near Tampa. South Beach is on the _Atlantic_ coast. And even if there was toxic algae, the scenery would still be better than Croydon. Croydon looks like Cleveland, except without the charm. There are several reasons why Cleveland is the Mistake on the Lake, not least being that it's the place where the river caught fire. Twice.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: I'll take it

          13 times.

          1. James O'Shea Silver badge

            Re: I'll take it

            Ay, caramba! It's worse than I'd thought.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Croydon ...

    didn't they get a ribbing years ago from HIGNFY after trying to promote Croydon as an alternative to US locations, noting that at ground level, a lot of Croydon looks like the US ?

    (Angus then added that the statement came from the Leader of the Council who looked like Brad Pitt below the ankle).

    Is my memory odd ?

  23. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    I am agog

    From the recruitment leaflet:

    "our strategy of bringing back ‘in-house’ our key design and architecture decisions, more directly controlling product development, putting users at the heart of our solutions"

    Can I believe my eyes? Has the leopard changed its spots? Has .gov.uk actually discovered the twenty-first century?

    Or, is it just puff to gloss over the fact that all the approved mega-contractors are currently in the political doghouse?

  24. Milton Silver badge

    Tempting, in a funny kind of way

    I live close to Croydon and might even qualify, though some of my relevant CV (the more senior corporate IT stuff) is quite old. And as several people have pointed out, although the salary is laughably pitiful for the level of responsibility theoretically involved, the situation is indeed just that: "theoretical"—no sane, experienced adult expects any aspect of Brexit to be anything other than a massive, chaotic, expensive, ultimately cataclysmic clusterphuk.

    So if the salary is derisory for the purported task, perhaps that is in recognition of the futility of the role and its context? Perhaps, in fact, they might as well give the job to the first CV that comes in the door, given it will make no difference whether they appoint an experienced IT professional or a bumbling fool (perhaps BoJo should apply, he is too lazy, ignorant and stupid to bother with detail)?

    Trouble is, as soon as your feet are under the desk, cynicism comes under assault from "Maybe I could make a difference, just a little ... what if I do this ..." because you figure that a bit of reason, evidence and logic might actually help, and, who knows, you could convert some clueless civil servants and their imbecile political masters to reality. Before you know it, you actually care about the deck chairs, despite the captain steering deliberately straight at the iceberg—and then the stress sets in, and once again you are burning out in the face of staggering public sector incompetence and the utter uselessness of politicians.

    And the £100k wasn't worth it after all.

    Perhaps the Home Office advert should read: "Poisoned Chalice: £100k p.a. for first person stupid enough to think they could make the slightest difference."

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Tempting, in a funny kind of way

      and then the stress sets in, and once again you are burning out in the face of staggering public sector incompetence and the utter uselessness of politicians.

      It's only stressful if you are trying to actually achieve something in the face of those odds. Any sane person would just go with the flow. What does it matter if the people you work with are all incompetent if you have no intention of doing the (impossible anyway) work?

  25. Allonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    From the candidate information pack

    [We] have some of the most fascinating digital, data and technology leadership roles in the market.

    Fascinating. Yes, that's true. Car crashes and large building fires are also fascinating in the same morbid kind of way.

    Icon because that's what's going to happen when this project hits the wall.

  26. J.G.Harston Silver badge
    Facepalm

    This like getting on a 24-hr flight to New Zealand, and somewhere above the Indian Ocean deciding that now is a good time to look for a hotel to stay in.

  27. Electricity_Guy

    I'm applying...

    I think I'll apply then we'll find out how really desperate they are to fill the post.

    LOL!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm applying...

      They should just appoint it like Jury Duty and assign it to a random person

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm applying...

        >They should just appoint it like Jury Duty and assign it to a random person

        There was a time when I thought that $employer just dragged crack addicts off the street and put them on the helpdesk during withdrawal, such was the quality of service. Given the availability and popularity of Spice, just wait for the first Spice Zombie in Croydon town centre, kidnap them and put them in the role*.

        *This could also work for MPs.**

        **In most cases this would be an improvement.

  28. ColinPa

    Under current EU regulations ...

    Under EU regulations - does this job need to be advertised Europe wide ? If so people from mainland Europe could apply for this job, and really put a spanner in the works ( or a Schlüssel/clé)

  29. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Alien Forward Operating Base or US to Internetional Rescue?*

    Making a leading agent's day rate £100k and you should rightly be expecting AIMiracles to Present Future Virtualised AIReality Programs ...... with Fantastic Journeys to Travel in these NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Space Places ........ Looking Out for Ab Fab Fabless AILeaders.

    Phenomenally Heavy Fuel for Blasting Off into NEUKlearer Space Places, El Reg.

    With Heaven ....... well, Firm Favourite Destination .... where Everything is Again Better Forever.

    One can certainly not doubt ITs Absolutely Addictive Attraction. ..... and especially so whenever the Virtual Spaces InterReact with Physicalised Places ....... Leading in the New AIWay for Future Builders.

    Methinks that DARPA/BAE Systems Type Territory, El Reg, ..... and what do you think their Systems Program Production Team Leaders are now doing in the Light and Sight of the Revelation and Release of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT?

    Capitalising it or Fearing to Ignore It? Bravo the Only Right Good Answer there which Feeds and Seeds Future Paths Planning. ........ for More Heavenly Travel Immaculately Conceived in Real Hot and Sticky Physicalised Episodes ......... which Memory Never Forgets to Repeat Better than the Last Time for Everything to Be Fundamentally Different and Seeking to Partition and Further EMPower Perfection.

    Knock, Knock, Warren Buffett/George Soros.

    * https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-16/trump-rages-honesty-wins-nationwide-anti-trump-editorial-blitz-strikes?page=2#comment-12200212

    Take care with all of that, IT can easily Explode and Decimate Whole Sectors with Immaculate Revelations. Best Be Properly Prepared and Better Educated in What All Will Soon Learn Very Quickly Travelling Heavenly Paths Illuminating Scripts Presenting Future Trails Trialling Current Quantum Communications Control Systems ......... Following Raw Hard Core immaculate Source Programming.

    Now whoever provisions that is liable to be able to enable and think almightily. And it's nice knowing its not an Empty ACTive IT Space Place for there are Many Others Playing All Kinds of Greater IntelAIgent Games Commanding and Controlling Live Operational Virtual Environments......... [to be continued with more to follow presently ]

  30. austint

    Hmm: Croydon is just a tram-ride away. And so long as they don't expect me to actually DO anything...

  31. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Banks are broken.

    Again... #gotogaol

  32. scrubber

    Where's my money

    Open borders.

    Unlimited immigration, but no benefits for 12 months.

    Scrap any biometrics systems immediately.

  33. Rol Silver badge

    Independence. Day 1

    "Hello you're through to IT support how may I assist you?"

    "Err, yes this is Dover passport control. We've just switched over to the new system, and, well, it's not working"

    "Ah yes, you're not alone, but we've come up with a fix"

    "Oh thank God, it's going mental here. The queues are going down the beach and into the surf"

    "Don't panic. Find the switch at the back of the machine and turn it off"

    "OK, I've done that"

    "Excellent. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What clearance?

    Job description says open to non UK national with SC. ..wtf

    The role would need briefing on border/port of entry operational issues for them to make calls on what information is shared where how and when.

    Try UKonly DV (3 months if nsv is working)

    Otherwise the meeting is going to be fun "why are we buying this line?... can't tell you, what does it connect... can't tell you, who are the user's,... can't tell you" repeat sequence every day they are in post

    1. Spearchucker Jones

      Re: What clearance?

      SC is good enough here. Building a technical solution that needs to connect with "a system with x profile and y data structure, containing z actionable field" is more than enough to translate into an instruction for a border official.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Chance for some fun

    I think that El-Reg should keep a close eye on the recruitment process, and then go for the killer interview

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: A Chance for some fun ..... with Bright Lights Following Future Ways ....

      .... via Virtual Means with Impeccable Memes

      I think that El-Reg should keep a close eye on the recruitment process, and then go for the killer interview .... Anonymous Coward

      El Reg could post Leading Proposals here for Global Peer Review. Such would pulverise any possible dissent and conflict because of hitherto unknown secret arrangements.

      Do you know how to Travel Safely and Securely Along the Future Way? How to Negotiate and Enjoy to One's Fill the Pleasures at All Available Levels? Or would you be Captured in a Station and Posting to Server Gruel rather than Export Caviar/Death and Destruction rather than Peace and Tranquility?

      What Kinds of Creatures would do that for a Living in the Present Era of Live Operational Virtual Environments? Be they Mentally Retarded and/or Insanely Mad and Radically Bad? Or Just Still Ignorant of the LOVE Program for Live Augmented Virtual Reality Projects ........ in Future Space Place Presentations.

      If you can Trump that, and easily provide a Better Beta AIMachine SuperStructure/InfraStructure before Ancient Traditional Systems Implode and Meltdown on the News of New Verifiable Revelations kept Hidden and Secret for Just a Few, will you Certainly Capture an Enthusiastic Following and Most Willing Disciples for Exciting Esoteric and Exotic Erotic Works.:-) They take you away to places you maybe haven't even dreamed are possible to deliver today.

      You might like to consider All of the Above, an AI Leading Proposal, for Governments Everywhere to Share with their Peoples for the Asinine Creation of the Burden of Taxation Allied to the Conspired Notion of National and International Debt to be Repaid in the Future by Future Generation in Order to Keep the Grand Fiat Currency Ponzi from Collapsing, surely has them more than worthy of an Heroic Mighty Voice?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: A Chance for some fun ..... with Bright Lights Following Future Ways ....

        All just too good to be true, El Reg?

        Oh please, you cannot be serious! Acting like a Virtual Virgin and being all Coy about what now is so easily done to So Very Many by So Very Few doesn't do Anyone or Anything Any Favours.

        And what did BoJo say re RAW and Rare Augmented Virtual Realisation [sent 3 August 2018 4:25 PM]?

        Anything coherent and encouraging or Is the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip trying valiantly vainly to dodge that particular and peculiar live grenade show?

  36. steelpillow Silver badge
    Flame

    No foreigners, then

    If you are an overseas IT worker in the UK, you must be earning at least £120k before your work permit will be renewed.*

    The £100k on offer here must mean that one interview question will have to be, "If you are not a UK citizen, does your work permit cover the full period of the contract?"

    * Was why child chess prodigy Shreyas Royal needed the Home Secretary to get personal, his dad's an IT Project Manager: BBC report

    Speechless with indignation at our inhuman immigration laws.

    Hey, Mr. Royal, maybe you should go for this low-paid-scum job, as a little personal "thank you" to said Home Secretary? You could let your kid do the actual migration strategy, he'd be pretty hot on it by all accounts.

  37. Robin Saunter

    Delivery of What Exactly?

    Having been involved in border control technology for some decades, I spent 3.7 seconds looking at this job opportunity before concluding, like most other contributors, that it was a career disaster. It's probably a stitch-up anyway, as the successful candidate/victim is already in the frame. What really made we wonder, is what this job will actually deliver: innovation has never been a Home Office characteristic and any progress (as with our HMRC colleagues) tended to be inspired and delivered by people low down in the organisation rather than by its senior management. Oh dear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Delivery of What Exactly?

      what this job will actually deliver:

      It will deliver the insertion of a flag into a database table, representing the status of whether an EU citizen has the residency rights the UK government has promised.

  38. Spearchucker Jones

    When you're dead you don't know that you're dead. All the pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you're stupid.

    I say that because 4 years ago they had a perfectly workable, highly usable and surprisingly cheap (by gov. standards) solution. A small government department and a small boutique consultancy didn't like that, and the home secretary at the time reputedly didn't like the Met, and by extension the border force - and so one of the most elegant and achievable solutions I've seen in government was torpedoed.

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