back to article Transport Dept dishes out £1.9m rail database deal to Capita

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded Capita Symonds a contract for a rail passenger counts database system, worth £1.9m. The database will allow all train operating companies (TOCs) to upload data about the number of passengers on train services into a single, standardised, database. "The data will then be used by …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Tony Rogerson

    Another rip off

    1.9m - what on earth are they designing - another ebay?

    Sickens me, there aren't even that many TCO's and what complexity is there!

    A small software house could knock that up at a fraction of the cost.

    1. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: Another rip off



      there, just did it for free in 27bytes

  2. The BigYin

    As if...

    ...our rail system wasn't screwed up enough.

  3. Kevin7

    Nearly two million quid? Jesus Christ! What the hell are they using?

    1. redbook

      Knowing Capita, Access.

      Plus it will be delivered two years late, go about 2 billion over budget and will only work on Windows XP (SP2 or earlier).

  4. [My Handle]

    How does Capita find these contracts? And why do people keep using them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How does Capita find these contracts?

      The article does say - Official Journal of the European Union (often still referred to colloquially as Ojec, from its title before the EC aggrandised itself to the EU)


      The problem is that OJEU is user unfriendly and time consuming (I've given you a deep link to a specimen contract), so you need to be big enough to have some corporate business development overhead able and willing to chase this. If you're a small business you may not have sufficient free resource, and even if you're a medium sized business it may not pay off because (unlike Crapita) you're going to be fairly focused, and the number of deals you'll find that fit your business may not repay the effort spent looking. Arguably the SME's should set up a search and leave it running, but I doubt most of them would even know of OJEU, other than as the big boy's menu. And you often then have to register with the buyers own procurement portal, as in this case, so there's half an hour's work by a skilled bod just to find out what the work is, before any proposal can be started.

      There's also the term in here "restricted procurement", which means that the buyer isn't necessarily abiding by the full EU rules - they've decided to do their own thing, which may mean that potential suppliers don't have full visibility of the criteria and award procedure. Sometimes that's entirely justified (eg because the kit being bought needs to work with other proprietary kit, or because the judgement can't be based purely on economics), but sometimes it is cover for a stitch up. For an SME you don't want to be starting off work on a proposal if you've not sure that you've got a fair chance of being properly considered.

      The reason people keep using the likes of Crapita is because nobody in the public sector ever gets sacked for deals that go bad, because the complex deal finding and tendering process encourages the likes of Crapita, and because the SME's who might be well placed to service this sort of deal probably don't look in OJEU, where such things have to be advertised under EU procurement rules.

  5. StrictlySocial

    all about the ratios...

    20 managers per developer is expensive business.

  6. keithpeter Silver badge

    Can we have the data?

    For that money I hope the data feed is available for public use.

    A nice little api to run commercial services/pages/apps off plus a searchable archive of old data.

    Handy evidence for local planning arguments and for 'find a train you can actually sit on that is actually moving' iPhone app type money making services.

  7. John A Blackley

    "passenger counts data supplied by TCOs"

    GIGO then.

  8. dreamingspire

    Moving to smart media

    Over the next few years, rail tickets will become available on smart cards and in NFC smartphones. The first stage is SEFT, the South East Flexible Tickets programme kicked off last autumn, with season tickets and (for the flexible version) a sort of carnet. Then new franchisees will be told to provide full fat smart ticketing (already in 2 franchise ITTs). Smart media tickets allow for electronic recording of journeys taken (the ITSO spec and support network and key server).

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like