back to article back-office battle may see British Justice offshored

The Ministry of Justice is reviewing the current way back office functions are deployed, citing further cost savings as the reason for doing so – and not, as our sources state, because of departmental in-fighting. Under the Next Generation Shared Service Strategy (NGSSS) rolled out by the Cabinet Office last March, the plan …


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  1. Gordon Pryra

    Utterly fantastic

    How the hell can the Government of the UK talk about the financial situation improoving when they make the "difficult decisions" by moving jobs to other countrys where labour is cheap?

    How about they just send their bean counters into the various deparments and look into the procurment and service delivery contracts, work out which ones are more expensive than they should be and fucking jail the thiething scum who signed off on them?

    I bet their costs come down by far more than the savings from a few low paid helpdesk jobs being sent to India (or whichever country with little to no human rights is the current favourite)

    1. frank ly
      Thumb Up

      Re: Utterly fantastic

      Nice use of the true meaning of the word.

    2. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      It follows... (Re: Utterly fantastic)

      After all, British Government and lawmaking has been offshored to Brussells...

      1. Scroticus Canis

        Re: It follows... (Utterly fantastic)

        Not to mention to the U.S.of A. as well, seeing how we let our own citizens be extradited there on less than compelling evidence, if any at all..

        Presume the down votes to your comment are by those who are happy with the degradation of the UK legal framework and like the excessive catch-all laws such as the terrorism act.

    3. Tex Arcana

      Welcome to corporate welfare...

      ...which is what we yanks have been battling for over 20 years now.

      Better stop it now before your 1%ers succeed in impoverishing your nation, too.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that bit in all the MoJ bid docs...

    ..that says "all systems administration staff must be British citizens and have the requisite level security clearance" was just there as a joke then?

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: So that bit in all the MoJ bid docs...

      "..that says "all systems administration staff must be British citizens and have the requisite level security clearance" was just there as a joke then?"

      Nah, true to form if there's a 'need' seen (like having loads of dosh, no matter the security risk) then any staff will get fast-tracked.

      Precedence is back in the days of the Empire -- take Indian people who have been trained as Civil Servants, ship them over to Uganda to run the office, give them all UK passports for thier services, run away and abandon them to the butcher.

      Nowt new.

  3. dickiedyce

    Thanks for the new acronym....

    ... although I propose HAIDI - Head-Arse ID Issue.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outsourcing isn't "efficiency savings". It's just cheap labour and inferior service.

    You could hand over such systems to incompetent cheapo firms in the UK if you wanted.

  5. Tromos

    We outsourced some justice a couple of centuries ago.

    And look how that turned out - they trounced us at cricket

  6. James 51

    Cutting corners at the MoJ. I am sure it will all be effectively project managed, no data will leak out and nothing will ever go wrong.

    1. Elmer Phud

      "Cutting corners at the MoJ. I am sure it will all be effectively project managed, no data will leak out and nothing will ever go wrong."

      Nothing to worry about - they'll achieve savings by bunging it on the cheapest cloud that happens to be passing.

  7. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    This doesn't sound clever at all. The justice system already struggles to run at a decent pace and now they want to hand the back orifice functionality over to cheap labour in a foreign land? At least keep it on our shores and use some cheap eastern EU labour. That way we get some money back from taxation.

    1. Elmer Phud

      " At least keep it on our shores and use some cheap eastern EU labour. That way we get some money back from taxation.2

      But that's not the model used for businesses.

      No tax to pay, preferential land deals etc.etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      back orifice functionality over to cheap labour in a foreign land

      better than the last government in UK that handed it and excesive loads of taxpayers money all to NU Labour in the Union Kingdom for less productivity

  8. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Sad, but true?

    <alternative title> Well, you see…

    … in a "closed shop" with working practices the way they are it is very difficult to bring about efficiency changes.

    It can get messy.

    When it comes to law some of the disaffected might have means, abilities and wherewithal to challenge decisions and that means there is only one real alternative: outsource.

    Hopefully by outsourcing (overseas if need be) this reigns in poor practice (well, poor practice from a tax payer point of view, great practice from employee or consultant/commissioned point of view.

    That is why state run services should always be commissioned from the private sector (just have a look at the income levels of your local council, regional council, area council, national council, … )

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sad, but true?

      I work with an agency of a large government department where the department keeps on at them to use the outsourced central services department because "it will save money"

      Trouble is, they can not tell the agency how much anything will cost.

      And it is already known that, despite their published figures, they don't pay suppliers on time. They cheat by not recording invoices, etc until they are ready to pay them, so it looks like they have been paid in days, instead of the weeks that it actually is.

      Oh, and the desktop hardware would cost more, but do less and the IT support SLA is for a response - not a fix - within 3 working days.

      Outsourcing does not always save money.

  9. teapot9999

    No to offshoring

    It is not in this country's interest to offshore jobs - that is very shortsighted.

    If you make people redundant they will start claiming benefits which will more than make up for any 'savings' from offshoring.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: No to offshoring

      @ teapot9999

      I do find these arguments odd. The money to be spent is taxpayer and tax payers dont like spending a lot (its the govs that do). However we do like our higher wages (why do people skip through europe to come here, especially temporarily?).

      You say that the people here who would be paid by this work may end up on benefits if the job is offshored. So as tax payers we would end up paying less money to have the job completed (in theory) and have to pay a lower cost than the salaries in benefits for people who cant get work if the gov aint giving it.

      On the flip side we could give the work here at higher cost to the taxpayer (again theory) which requires increased burden on everyone to pay the inflated salary of a few. Increased cost to the taxpayer requires more money to be taken from the private working population (public money cant count as the public sector dont make money, they spend it) thereby making more people poor and pushing more people onto benefits.

      1. WorkingFromHome

        Re: No to offshoring

        But when talking about jobs paid for by the tax payer the maths is never as simple as which salary is lower when off shoring.

        If the job is done in the UK the salaries will almost certainly be higher but the government gets to claim a significant chunk back, both through income tax and the myriad of other taxes that impact our daily lives (VAT, fuel duty, alcohol tax etc etc). Plus if the salaries are paid to UK people then it further supports the economy through the things they buy and services they use.

        However if the job is sent offshore the money is gone.

        It's a difficult calculation but public money can't counted in the same way as a private business would because the picture is much bigger.

        1. NeilMc

          Re: No to offshoring for certain aspects of public sector

          You make a strong and fine arguement;

          Certainly we can reflect on the various and growing number of data loss scandals many eminating from offshore providers with very lapse security.

          I too believe that any savings by sending work offshore are under-estimated in terms of the total loss to the UK economy of retaining the jobs in the UK and providing employment opportunities for the 1m or so UK unemployed.

          These shared services facilities are precisely the type of work that can be relocated into areas of the UK with high unemployment. Therefore providing employment, economic stimulus to the local economy, valuable input to the wider UK economy and reducing the benefits bill for all tax payers.

          The simple truth is that our "Celebrity Government" is too full of self servicing wannabee TV hosts that they are simply not up to the task of addressing such matters; instead they take the easy way out and offshoring jobs without even considering the wider impact.

  10. Ross K
    Black Helicopters

    Put thecrystal balls away...

    It's just a bit of kite-flying - no mention in the article of where said jobs would be relocated to...

    As Michael Winner used to say: "Calm down dear!" - it will never happen.

    A saving of £400-600m is hardly worth the hassle anyway, given the speed at which can piss away money on overseas aid, military spending, etc

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What GCHQ aren't telling anyone or everyone because of what IT* can do and is doing ....

    Outsourcing parliamentary democracy to rid civilisation of party political prognostication to Pretty Good Private Sector Vectored Intelligence Units would be an absolutely fabulous fabless idea ........ and may even be the present actuality and virtual reality. Cut out the weakest link and the chain of command and control is guaranteed to be stronger and better. It is only natural.

    It is certainly though, a monumental little something which you will practically never probably be told by traditional government wonks as being disturbingly highly active and perturbingly already deeply embedded within current status quo systems with stealthy administration and exotic erotic executive office facility and utility, and that puts the traditional and conventional them at a distinct intelligently designed disadvantage, for the admission of that awesome reality and astute possibility would have them having to deal with their rapid public media hosted demise out in the transparent open where all of their inadequacies would be aired.

    Oh dear, what a shame, ..... but just what is needed in these decidedly and designedly austere times.

    * IT and Renegade Rogue IntelAIgent Elements too, of course. IT is always wielded, isn't it, unless IT be autonomous and a self-actuating virtual machine system into field operations with teams in terrains.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Thumb Up


      Quite. +1

      Nurse. My med's have worn off... He's making sense again.


  12. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    The saddest part may be that it is the mere underlings, chiff-chaff of office diaspora that will feel the cutting edge sharpest.

    And so the cuts though many will be slight and leave the ever filled flowing with dosh even more secure in cash, dosh, pension and privelege.

    This is how it has been, will be and shall be to come for that is your earthling UK (now, if only Scotland had the gall, courage and conviction to show how a nation should be run).

    You see, any resource in the UK is used to maintain "class" divisions between the people.

    A tribe of tribes divided and all that (look to Europe and UK approach to EU if you need additional proof)?

  13. Graham Marsden

    For sale - Great Britain PLC

    Bids and offers of Directorships to the Tory Party HQ...

    1. Trainee grumpy old ****

      Re: For sale - Great Britain PLC

      Bids and offers of Directorships to the Tory Party HQ the HQ of whichever party is in power at the time.


      It has been so for some time now.

  14. alain williams Silver badge

    Can't we do it ourselves ?

    Some time ago David Cameron made a good analogy of us having overspent on the country's credit card and having to live within our means. Since the UK does have the skills and companies to provide the services that are talked of being off-shored; a good analogy would be of a plumber getting in another plumber to fix his bathroom tap as the other plumber has a B&Q discount card & so can buy the washer more cheaply - the job still ends up costing the householder plumber more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't we do it ourselves ?

      "the job still ends up costing the householder plumber more."

      That's how most back office outsourcing ends up. But the driver is not really about saving money, it is about "being seen to do something". If you wanted to save money you'd simply bring all your public sector employees on to a universal pay scale, simplify down all the different T&Cs to a minimum set covering all roles (arguably about fifteen), you'd have all HR and payroll administered by a single operation, and you'd do it yourself. The disaster of the Queeensland health payroll disaster shows what happens when you let the outsourcers in.

      That the UK government don't their behind from their elbow is illustrated by the complexity that is apparent within a single department, never mind across government.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can't we do it ourselves ?

        If you really want to save money, just get rid of all the civil servants coming up with this garbage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't we do it ourselves ?

          "just get rid of all the civil servants coming up with this garbage"

          I think you'll find the "civil servants coming up with this garbage" are actually the spotty twats who infest the Cabinet Office under the guise of being "special advisors". In reality the cabinet office under present and former governments is always coming up with stupid ideas, from people with little or no experience, and this continues the trend.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Can't we do it ourselves ?

        @ Ledswinger

        But then you would have them all striking because that evil gov is attacking the down trodden worker. As soon as you try to change something for the better you must suffer the backlash of the people losing their gravy.

        Its hard enough mentioning the NHS without someone screaming think of the children

  15. Kevin Johnston

    Hmmm....outsource the back-office?

    That does at least go along with the logic where HMRC went to Lease-back for their buildings to save costs only for the ownership of those very buildings to end up with a nice Bahamian off-shore tax-avoiding company...

    No irony there then

  16. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Ah! I get it now!

    I was going to suggest we outsource our gobmint, unsivil servantry and any with direct dependence on and direct influence over public monies.

    B-U-T I now see the folly of my ways.

    It is not for the big people to be outsourced - I mean that would just not do would it?

    It is for the big people to outsource the jobs and livelihoods of the little people otherwise there would be mega-disorder in the UK.

    I mean, the class structure would become terribly muddy wouldn't it?

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "finance, procurement, HR" IOW *non* core functions which should opperate on common rules.

    But of course this is the Civil Service where every department (despite all operating under the same UK laws) is so unique that it's simply impossible to share the sort of things that every organization does.

  18. MGJ

    What British Justice is this?

    The MOJ is a Whitehall department with no responsibility for Scotland.

  19. TheVoiceofReason

    MoJ Has Form

    I remember a few years ago when the "new" criminal justice system project was failing the audit office got involved. They forced the MoJ to go out tender again. From recollection, they awarded it to the same supplier who bid at a higher cost. Not an unusual practise in public sector procurement as I have unfortunately found out over the years. When something doesn't work the answer is always "we need more budget!" The service never improves, but the cost always goes up.

  20. All names Taken

    Copied yet relevant?

    Dear Uk (non)Government

    Please amend and revise your (un)sivil cervant rules for procurement to cater for the following working methods:

    1 - HMG (or lesser bodies it sorta depends) invites bids to provide the following services: blah-blah-de-blah-blah

    2 - HMG (or lesser bodies) have budgeted £x spondoolies for the services and this contract will be awarded to bidders aiming to provide HMG and HMG subjects with the best services in the world ever and bidders will need to justify their working methods.

    3 - bidders are invited from UK, International limited to EU, International non-EU and some blend or composite of each

    4 - feck TUPE. If the present incumbents lose out that is their loss innit?

    edit: if HMG (and lesser bodies accessing public dosh) do not do it then they are likely to fall fowl foul of EU and UK procurement principles innit?

    edit2: and this extends to all publicly funded services such as NHS, sivil cervices, education, ... , so there huffy-puffy mandarin?

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