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. 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.

  1. 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
            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

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

      The escape pods for the MP's?

  2. 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.

  3. 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
      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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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
          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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 >>>>>>>>>

  9. 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
      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.

  10. StuntMisanthrope

    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

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