back to article spunked £153m on reorganisation IT

The National Audit Office says that nearly 20 per cent of the £780m spent on central government reorganisations over the last four years has gone on IT. Nearly half of departments reported that IT purchasing had a high or moderate cost impact on their reorganisation process and 45 per cent said the same about website …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Getting milked.

    Makes me fkin spit when I see how the Gov gets raped for money by IT and Telecoms companies. Simple one man jobs get split into two and sometimes three visits, each chargeable and not cheap either.

    Let's put it this way, for what a certain Gov department gets charged by my employer for a one hour visit, I have to work half a week. (and yes, I know all about overheads, tax etc..)

  2. Is it me?

    A more deliberate and carefully planned process - what are they on.

    Currently most IT procurements in government require a bid process that takes between a year and 18 months, and costs the IT suppliers a lot of money. Think lost opportunity, so a bid team will consist of a minimum of 5 and up. So even if we assume a low salary, your costs are going to be north of £100,000 per person per year.

    Behind this there will be a at least 10 departmental employees, and a similar number of consultants. Remember that the department has to go through the process of selecting a supplier from a long list down to a short list of 3 through to contract award.

    Usually business change represents at least as much again as the value of the IT contract in costs on the business, but these are usually swept under the carpet.

    There are short cut catalogue processes available for smaller or urgent contracts. Actually the 3 month bid cycle for even contracts of £20 - 30 Million works pretty well.

    Oh, and the contract price always includes cost recovery for the two contracts the winner didn't win as well as the ones they do.

    So one can see that if departments actually start dealing with business change properly, the project costs and bid timescales will extend. Failure rate will go down, not that they are actually that high anyway. In commerce, the CEO can usually say, I like Sharepoint lets implement it across the company through those nice chaps I met at the golf club, a minister, permanent secretary or Agency CEO can't do that.

  3. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Can it really be...

    "We believe a more deliberate and carefully planned process makes sense before such costs are incurred and would also like to see a slow down in the rate of change."

    A government department talking sense... who would have thunk it?

  4. libertines123

    So, who's moderating the comments?

    The 15 year old's twin brother?

    My previous comment "'Spunked'? Who's writing these headines, 15 years olds?" was a serious comment on an article that was copied pretty much wholesale from the source. The biggest change is "Spent" to "Spunked" in the title.

    I can't believe you would reject it.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: So, who's moderating the comments?

      Good day, sunshine. I see you're new here and have signed up to complain about our juvenile headline and thereafter complain about your complaint being rejected. Welcome.

      I write the headlines. I moderate the comments. I'm not 15.

      Reg house style involves a bit of light-hearted sniggery terminology here and there.

      This particular article is syndicated, not 'copied'.

      I can zap your commenting account if you continue to irritate me.

      Any further questions?

      1. libertines123

        Re: Re: So, who's moderating the comments?

        I might be a new registered user but I have been a constant reader of the The Register ever since I worked for the company that developed the first Register website (TW2 way-back-when).

        It's the only site I go to for IT news, and I always enjoy reading it and the comments. I guess this morning I was irritated by what I thought was an inappropriate and lazy headline.

        Inappropriate as this is a serious issue involving tax-payer's money.

        Lazy, well because compared to the usual standard for the site it is clear there wasn't much time spent coming up with this alteration to the headline . I hope not at least.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Re: So, who's moderating the comments?

          Well, thank you for your input. I'm amazed that in all these years this is the first thing that's moved you to comment, but hey, must mean we're doing pretty well, no?

          Whatever. (Ach, I just outed myself - I actually am 15 after all.)

          1. Chris Collins

            I, for one..

            Welcome our 15 year-old overlords. I believe "spunking" or "spunked" is perfectly acceptable when referring to splashing something out in an un-retrievable manner. And it's good for the skin.

          2. John H Woods Silver badge

            oh shit ...

            As the moderatrix is only 15 a lot of commentards have now got a serious problem, as many of us^H^H them have been harbouring a bit of a crush ... this could be tricky

          3. Jimmy 1

            The Sting.

            Never poke a hornet's nest with a sharp stick if you don't want to be pricked by an under-age stinging Bee.

      2. Rumcajz


        Can we have a ZoTW, to go with the FoTW? Please??

  5. SlabMan

    @Is it me

    'a minister, permanent secretary or Agency CEO can't do that'

    No, but they do have bright ideas. And when they have a bright idea, they want it now, and for no extra money. So there goes your carefully planned change programme.

    Bright ideas come out of government all the time - change the VAT rate, change the ISA limit for over 50s, and so on. Do you think they ever do an impact assessment before their words of genius are publicised?

    Here's hoping for a hung parliament and 5 years of no legislation whatsoever. We might just get caught up.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1

      Good Idea

      Let's hang Parliament. I vote for Guy Fawkes.

      And Linux. Oh hang on, they charge for server side stuff don't they


      Let's see, can we bag something from an American firm and pay them lots of dosh to help our balance of trade? Or do we already?

      There must be an answer to this and I am sure that someone knows what it is. I wonder what it would cost to bring him out of hiding. Round the clock security and a constant supply of safe houses for whoever, I suppose.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    90 reorganisations in 4 years?


    Now for bonus points.

    The NAO seems to have a handle on what they *cost* but any idea what they *saved*?

    They were meant to save *something* maybe not cash but amount of staff time spent on a job say, or the number of documents printed and sent out (one of the original excuses for the ID card was the poor widow who got 10s of documents sent to her recently dead husband. You don't need an ID card, you need better linkage between the systems).

    So which one of these succeeded on *their* metrics?

  7. elderlybloke

    Down in NZ

    any word with spunk in it would be considered unsuitable for any polite group such as this.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "any word with spunk in it would be considered unsuitable for any polite group such as this."

      I admire your forthrighness sir.

      It took a *lot* of spunk.

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