back to article UK gov should move into PC reseller biz, says report

The government could become one of the UK’s biggest resellers of used IT kit if recommendations in a National Audit Office report are taken to their logical conclusion. The spending watchdog paints a worrying picture of the public sector’s current approach to disposing of old kit. It found a lack of awareness of environmental …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like Homer simpson is working at the NAU

    "Hey guys if we BUY MORE we can SELL more and make more money!!! "

    To the homer simpson working in the NAU:

    Forgetting the depreciation/ installation aquistion cost would barely be offset by the 70 mil....

    On top of that Windows vista has a much higher hardware requirement, is buggy and slow.

    as for being more productive... thats assuming these guys are using their computers 24x7 and are always working....

    Why doesn't the NAU investigate putting linux onto the old boxes and turning them into servers...

    Now that would save money....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Only.....

    "giving civil servants more up to date kit..."

    I got a brand spanking new PC when I started in my current job, and it was the same spec as the machine I'd been using for 2 years previously. ho-hum.

    It would be nice to think that the public sector could supply a PC that could cope with a couple of spreadhseets and a database open at the same time without pretending it was choking on Vista.

  3. Mark

    3 year old PCs

    Are you sure you'd get more than the cost of a packet of crisps for them?

    I can hardly give away my 3 year old kit.

  4. Andy S

    Computers are too prevalent for this.

    I thought companies had problems even giving away their old kit these days, never mind selling it.

    pc's are too low priced for this to be really practical nowadays. Which would you prefer, an old government pc, thats probably so low spec it can't do much more than type a letter, or a brand new entry level pc from pcworld for with a flat monitor and a printer. Unless they are practically giving them away, ie under £100 with all the kit, most people will simply go to pcworld.

    In the good old days, giving all of your old pc's away to the nearest school not only gave you some nice publicity but also saved your company thousands of pounds on equipment disposal, now even schools are refusing to accept free computers.

  5. Stuart

    Reading the data...

    off the hard drive is one way to find out what the hell they are doing....or not as the case may be....

  6. John A Blackley


    Costs of a quicker refresh cycle will be defrayed by "better staff efficiency, and other benefits"?

    What? What basis do these people use for suggesting that refreshing kit every three years will result in "better staff efficency"? And what "other benefits"? Did anyone pay for this 'study'?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 Years??

    On my 3rd laptop in under 5 years,

    Note to NAU: Laptops get melty when used 40hrs a week on a regular basis. Even civil servants who might actually work 10hrs out of that 40 will wear out the cheap tat we buy in the UK public sector.

  8. Tim Porter

    re: Computers are too prevalent for this.

    Nail meet head.

    Forgetting the inherent problems of such as a scheme for a moment, given coverage NAO head, Sir John Bourn, has received in Private Eye of late (e.g. the mag obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act that showed that Sir J had racked up over £330,000 in travel expenses), I think the NAO needs to get its own house in order before telling off others for wasting money.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 Year Old Servers

    Using 3 year old kit with Linux on as servers won't save money, it'll cost money as they'll likely be power hungry monsters - The aquisition cost of servers is outweighed by the cost of powering/cooling them and has been for quite some time.

    It's not just PCs that throws away, there's perfectly serviceable networking kit - Although the banks are just as bad (as are most large organisations). I know someone who works for a "local" bank and the kit they throw out (in to skips) in terms of firewalls, switches, routers etc. that is perfectly serviceable and cost millions originally, is frightening.

  10. Ascylto

    One Careful(ish) Owner

    Ask yourself this ... would you buy a used car from Tony Bliar or his missus?

    It could be a crafty way of getting rid of their disposal problems ... sell 'em off cheap then slap a(nother) tax on IT waste disposal.

    Job done. KCMGs all round!

  11. Tom

    Re: Which would you prefer...

    "Which would you prefer, an old government pc, thats probably so low spec it can't do much more than type a letter, or a brand new entry level pc from pcworld for with a flat monitor and a printer."

    I'd either go for neither of them, or the ex govt computer. Buying a cheap, mass-market bit of crap from PC world is pretty much ensuring you'll have a nice little moneypit for the 9 months it'll last.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just use Citrix and the need to continually upgrade goes away

    It always amazes me that people, especially in big orgs insist on running PCs that they have to keep upgrading. Use Citrix Server in the middle then you just need to update the central machines and use the PCs as terminals. That would save millions and millions every year in junked kit. Help gov to hits its "Euro-green" commitments as well.

    Reason no one does it is that the sys-ads and the tech's want to keep up their Microsoft skills to keep their personal market value up, and it is a lot more sexy to say "I managed the procurement of £70m of IT procurement" than "I brought half a dozen Citrix Servers"

    Still while the CIOs are more interested in building their empires and the CFOs remain technically ignorant, this madness will continue :0)

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