back to article Consultants bag £37m from failed e-Borders contract

The Home Office paid more than £37m to just one consultancy for advice on the e-Borders contract, which was torn up by the coalition after the election. The advisory payments to Deloitte compare to the £750m cost of the floundering project to record details of every traveller into and out of the UK. Trusted Borders, the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minor Costs

    At least the cost's of Deloitte are significantly cheaper than the rest of the project. £37 Million is small change after all. Mind I can't help wondering what this in fact paid for given that the project failed dismally...................

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid Project

    It's a stupid, hopelessly optimistic project that will, in all probability, never really work.

    Plus it's possibly illegal under EU law... So glad we're cutting health and education but continuing with a £1.2b project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid Project

      But... it's in and working, and the money has already been spent on it, so it would be an even bigger waste of money to not continue with it.

      1. Starkadder

        Er, not really

        e-Borders is only working for flights. The UKBA have no idea how to make it work for Eurostar, cross channel ferries or private sailing boats. Nor are there viable solutions for the Eire/NI border. Or for travel to and from the Isle of Man. Deloitte's have nothing to be proud of. The e-Borders system is predicated on having a sealed border, and checking everyone who comes in or out against a central database, before they travel. This will never happen, as the UK's borders are far too porous. EU rules says no-one has to tell the UKBA anything about their travel plans in advance if all they are doing is crossing an internal EU border. Deloittte's should have told the UKBA (run by Lin Homer, paid over £200,000 a year for presiding over this mess) that it would never work. One page report. Fee £20,000. end of story.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "Massive contract to be re-tendered"

    How about split up into smaller sections non mega-conglomerates have a chance of tendering (and delivering) on ?

    They *might* see some actual competition this time.

    1. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

      Split up into smaller sections...

      Have an up vote on me. You'll have read Francis Maude's views on Big IT then? No contract with more than £100m whole life costs, and making sure it's accessible to small and open source competitors.

      Mind you, I'll believe it when I see it, and no doubt the usual consultancies will get their snouts in the trough giving advice and guidance on how to make the new methods work.

  4. James 5
    Thumb Up

    "Highly motivated"

    I bet they were - £37 million for a few days chinwag. Almost beats the Bankers Bonuses!

    1. Greenchutes

      Not as bad as the bankers

      If you think this comes anywhere near the banksters' bonuses, you haven't been paying attention. £37million is less than 0.1% of the annual banking bonuses paid in recent years. It's still a disgrace though.

  5. JaitcH

    Throughout the engagement Deloitte ...

    "Throughout the engagement Deloitte ... enabled the programme to develop an integrated, multi-disciplinary team who were highly motivated, professional and delivery-focused." (Who never finished the job)

    What a lot of codswallop - the only success they achieved was extracting unjustified fees from the tax payer.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      That's highly motivated in delivering *profit* to their shareholders, professional in lining their corporate pockets and focused in delivering as much tax payers cash as possible to the company coffers.

      You just need to understand how to read these sorts of documents.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    "highly motivated"

    I spent many months on the project, and I cant think of a less apt phrase to use regarding the consortium. The inter-company contracts were a farce, making delivery of functional code a joke. Would be better to split it up into smaller contracts that could be managed more effectively by the Home Office.

    Wait a minute, "managed more effectively by the Home Office"; there must be a joke in there somewhere...



  7. Scott 19


    Nice work if you can get it.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    It's ok

    Just cut back on naughty mags for sperm donors, we'll save £37M in no time ...

  9. Bram

    Uk Borders

    This is probably the only useful tool against illegal immigration, The problem they had with deporting immigrants is that they would go to another country and get another identity and come back again. The eBorders uses biometrics and they are a little harder to fake

    (Note in China some women were arrested for using fake latex fingerprints, apparently there's a hugh black market for them in China and there fingerprint database is roughly 104million)

    Whats actually happening is that there is a mini arms race with biometrics where every country is tryng to collect as much as possible and the UK has managed to cock it up but still want in so they are deciding to piss away more money but they keep using prehistoric civil servants who are still amazed that PCs no longer come with floppy drives and the only way to run an IT project is through the "Tradition Life Cycle" WTF?!??!!

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