back to article CSC bundles NHS IT fiasco staff out the door

CSC has binned about 100 workers involved in the disastrous National Programme for IT in the first wave of planned redundancies – with another 200 heads leaving voluntarily, company insiders have claimed. Altogether 500 techies – 30 per cent of those working on the botched NHS system – were put at risk of redundancy back in …


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  1. Scotty1234

    A telling quote....

    "Kevin O'Gallagher, Unite national officer for IT, told The Channel: "I am disappointed that despite all of the proposals and counter-proposals put forward by the union to avoid compulsory redundancies, CSC appears hellbent on selecting individuals they wish to make redundant.""

    In other words, the Unions want CSC to be lumbered with the unemployable staff, who they know aren't competent enought to find similar jobs elsewhere, whilst those who could have made a success of the project up sticks and work for the competition.

    I'm amazed how unions can still hold private business to ransom in this day any age, it's no wonder these government projects always over-run and under-deliver if the companies running them are prevented from making management decisions by blackmail.

    1. Colin Millar

      Re: A telling quote....

      So what management decision did UNITE prevent? Oh - yeah - they didn't - CSC did exactly what they wanted to do.

      And if you think that unions are the reason for Govt project screw ups then you've never seen the poorly scoped, technically illiterate steaming pile of shite that is a government spec. The ministers and civil service managers are more concerned that they actually don't say anything too clearly in case someone might get held accountable at some point and the contractors and consultants will promise to turn turds into gold safe in the knowledge that when they don't deliver they will get paid anyway and if someone has to take the blame it will be that guy in the postroom.

      1. N2
        Thumb Up

        Re: A telling quote.... @Colin Millar


        Absolutely spot on and otherwise referred to as 'Prince2 methodology'

    2. Ancient Oracle funkie

      Re: A telling quote.... @Scotty1234

      I can't make up my mind whether you are a simple troll or not! But let's assume you are serious. You suggest "the Unions want CSC to be lumbered with the unemployable staff" Unemployable? How the dickens do you draw that conclusion? Having worked on a number of large government projects over the years, I suspect that these "unemployable" (although they were employed by CSC) staff were on a project that possibly:

      - was oversold in terms of functionality

      - had an unrealistic go-live date (I've lost count of the number of projects where the start date was delayed but the go-live date remained the same)

      - suffered from poor project management

      - had requirements that kept changing (again, the very late change request from the client that had a major impact without changing the go-live date)

      Any one of the above could mean the project went tits up. And once it did, redundancies were CSC's answer. Nowhere is there a suggestion that Unite try to hold CS "... to ransom". They merely expressed disappointment at the level of compulsory redundancies. But I guess we shouldn't allow facts to get in teh way of a prejudice.

      In fact 2 prejudices - first anti-union (and I am not a union member myself) and ant public sector IT staff. It seems sometimes as if people think that Atos/CSC/HP/IBM/et al go "Oh look, we've won a govt contract. Quick go employ some useless people to work on it"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A telling quote....

      CSC don't employ incompetents.

      Perhaps what you meant to imply "Having screwed the NHS for years, and using loads of techies who could have solved all the problems for a tenth of the price, but that wouldn't have put much on CSC's balance sheet, and now CSC has now no longer any need for them, to help their "principal technical consultant" milk the taxpayer, they are surplus to requirements."

      They are of course unemployable, because most people believe them to responsible for the NHS IT. For reasons not widely understood, people don't associate guns, with gun related crime.

  2. Chris Miller

    And what about the managers, directors and officials responsible for this mega-screwup? Will they, too, be shown the door, or will they go on to greater things?

    No need to answer - I've looked out of the window and there are no flying porcines in site.

    1. jason 7

      I too was thinking the same thing....

      ...and you beat me to it.

      Amazes me that the dickheads responsible for faliure get to ruin another project and the poor sods that fought against them to do it properly get the bullet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I too was thinking the same thing....

        You are proceeding from a false assumption. The dickheads you refer to, brought in all the money by ensuring expansion of tax, and failure to deliver. The people who could have done it properly, were merely a cost to help them achieve it.

        1. jason 7

          Re: I too was thinking the same thing....

          Sorry that sounds like the usual failing management mumbo jumbo BS used to cover ones tracks.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Writing off 1.5 billion...

    How do you write off that kind of fleshwound and still keep breathing?

    There was an article in the June issue of IEEE Computer about the the abysmal failure of the FBI to renew its informatics infrastructure (it's good reading but not worth the 31 bucks that the IEEE demands, so leech it off somebody who has it). The author (an FBI insider and clear believer in the state) says:

    - because of their enormous complexity, large IT programs rarely succeed

    - large government contractors, "IT cartels" as former Obama administrator CIO Vivek Kundra called them, are usually only out for the money

    - program managers have a tendency to put a rosy spin on projects even when they are clearly in trouble

    He then goes on to describe dangerous behaviour by FBI project management. One cannot disagree with (1) and (3) but (2) only makes sense to a state employee who receives his paycheck independently of performance.

  4. raving angry loony


    Any bets that the people who actually made the decisions that led to this steaming pile of FAIL weren't the ones who were let go? Senior managers always seem to escape these purges, even though they're the ones who made the decisions that led to the failures. Instead they find scapegoats. Hundreds and hundreds of scapegoats.

    1. Mike Pellatt

      Re: Bets?

      The people who actually made the decision - the politicians - are now gone, to be replaced (much like the project managers) with another pile of incompetents.

      Anyone who claims they didn't see this mega-train-wreck coming was totally blind. Everyone with a brain cell and a level of vested interested below "total" said that this would never, ever, ever work. But did the Government listen ?? Nope. They signed off on it. They are the culpable ones.

      And don't even get me started on Local E-Government.......

      'coz they'll never learn.

  5. Tom 7

    He may have never seen

    "the poorly scoped, technically illiterate steaming pile of shite that is a government spec" but these generally seem to be written under the advisance of the preferred suppliers in the first place.

    And with nice getout clauses for the supplier.

  6. Abu El Banat

    It's always the foot-soldiers who pay the price never the Generals...

    Lots of good people have either left or been made redundant as a result of shambolic mismanagement on behalf of both iSoft and CSC yet those at the very top who have "led" the project over the last three or four years have now been "moved on" into equally highly paid "Presidential" or "Vice-Presidential" or "COO"'s always the foot-soldiers who pay the price never the Generals...

    As a tax-payer I have seen first hand what a total shambles this has been - this should never have been sent off-shore to Developers who have no understanding of how the NHS works, can't speak or spell fluently in English or are based halfway round the world from where the product is being used!

  7. @thepoettrap
    IT Angle

    If you buy in to a methodology that says plan before you code then you buy in to the consequences good times & bad. I am far less concerned about the responsible higher pay grades than I am about the unquestioned continuation of the absurd anachronistic computer software development paradigm. Taught & wrought.

    It's an admin system ffs. I blame the universities. What are they teaching today's professional?

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