must be written-off
"Some of the IT assets that have been delivered cannot be used in the programme and so must be written-off"
Never heard of ebay? (I am making the assumption this is hardware)
The botched implementation of the Department for Work and Pension's Universal Credit system looks set to lead to a multimillion pound write-off of IT assets, MPs said today. The Public Accounts Committee - echoing a report from the government's spending watchdog in September - reckoned that at least £140m will have been wasted …
One thing the PAC haven't factored into the overall cost is the fact that HMRC had to rush their RTI implementation in order to meet the DWP's (now discredited) timetable. That in turn had knock on effects for every single employer in the country, not to mention payroll bureaux. And of course because HMRC had to rush something they'd been wanting to do for ages, it isn't as good as it should have been, but we're stuck with it now. So there's another cost to taxpayer and business of the botched UC project.
How much has this cost, versus how much has it 'saved'. In other words, how many millions of pounds have been frittered away by the DWP whilst people who depend on benefits to survive have had their lifeline cut?
Red-top headlines aside, most people who claim benefits are the poorest in society. The incumbent government's continued demonising of the poor is disgusting, and every single pound wasted on a system which will probably end up being scrapped (as a good proportion of government IT systems generally are) is a pound which could have gone towards helping a vulnerable portion of society rather than government IT contractors.
But then, ministers don't get directorships with council estates when they leave office, do they, so how could they get their kick-backs if benefits money actually went to those who needed it?
More people than ever are depending on food banks to afford to eat, energy costs are rising well above inflation and people are now starting to be made homeless as a result of the 'bedroom tax', but this is alright, becuase these are all 'scroungers', not 'strivers'. IMHO, IDS is scum of the worst kind - self righteous, arrogant, and dead wrong.
.... having worked on a successful (i.e. on time, on budget, not hit the headlines) very large DWP IT system I know it is mindbendingly complex to implement social security IT systems. It's a shame that the guys doing this one clearly underestimated the task and screwed up so royally.
However, given the complexities, I wonder how may commentards would have done any better?
UC as an idea was around long before IDS moved in to Caxton House - from what I understand everyone had been too scared to take it on previously. Looks like they were right!
I got to know one of the architects of one benefits system. It's one of the worst nightmares. It's based on law - which is written in vague English by a bunch of lawyers and amended to be vague enough to be voted through by a bunch of Oxbridge humanities graduates.
Amended from time to time - not by re-issuing the document but by overlaying a series of amendments.
Adjusted by case law - as a result of claimaints taking the government to court and then
Implemented according to different practices by different local and government departments.
And then there are special cases and the judgement of individual officers.
The only people that understand it are a few select old men in software houses and departments.
Bet they weren't drafted in.
Savings of £38bn projected? Is that annual? The six benefits included add up to around £75bn*, so half of that is going to be lopped off? I dare say massive deprivation WILL save money, in the short term...
"Savings of £38bn projected? Is that annual? The six benefits included add up to around £75bn*, so half of that is going to be lopped off? I dare say massive deprivation WILL save money, in the short term..."
It makes me wonder how much they are giving away to the wrong people. How often they are fined for screwing up. And what massive overhead costs in admin and red tape they have.
Then add on top how much is scammed (which I expect is potentially a lower number than all the above).
You can't put the words "politician" and "learn" into the same sentence.
The reason they can't, and won't learn, is because none of this stuff has any relevance to their taxpayer-subsidised lives. If they were suddenly to find themselves at the mercy of the DWP in real life so that they understand why it all goes wrong and why it's so important to the downtrodden to get it right then we'd see some cluefulness applied.
But it's not going to happen is it?
...Iain Duck-egg Smith would have been happy to put his feet up after his failure to become PM, but having married into money (Couldn't even get that right) found himself at the mercy of his wife's family name for which failure is not an option!!
WIFE: "Better to be remembered for being a BASTARD who kicked down at people who couldn't kick back
Iain, than a PRAT of a LOSER...now start kicking down at the huddled masses quiet man or no more
Upper-Middle-Class pussy for you".
IAIN: ....................................."Oh all right then".
And from that we find ourselves here today 140 million quid down on the deal just so Iain can have a
quiet family life....A DIVORCE WOULD HAVE BEEN CHEAPER IAIN!!!
They most definitely are, but here they run straight into the "hand that feeds you" wall and stop short.
After all, you're not going to jeapordize that OBE and improved pension we have waiting for you for some silly IT project, now are you ? Of course not. That's a good man. Carry on then, chop chop !
I honestly think that there is only one way to properly manage an IT project in a government environment : name a project responsible (minister, or whatever other useless head figure you have lying around), and have him nominate a Project Manager, to run the project, and a Project Saboteur, to undermine it.
Since the current culture is that the Project Manager will do everything he can to hide issues and pretend everything is fine until it blows up in his face, it is imperative that an official Saboteur be around to act as a whistleblower and stop the show before it blows up.
Of course, if the project succeeds, the Project Manager gets the OBE, but if it fails, the Project Saboteur gets it, so it seems like a fair deal. In both cases, the Minister gets off spotless because his management of the whole thing went just as planned, which encourages him to actually pay attention to both (giving the Saboteur a fighting chance).
I can't see how this can't work and result in better IT project management overall. On the other hand, I have little experience in political backstabbing outside of having viewed Yes Minister, so I most probably haven't the faintest idea of what I'm talking about.
Only worked on one Govt IT project, and in general it seemed to be quite well run. Where it got interesting was with the assurance team. They would turn up to do their assurance, be all nice and smiley, have some basic questions, about x and y. listen to the answers and then go away and write a report basically saying that on x and y the project seemed to be on track, and in those areas they were satisfied with the validation program, but that they had limited visibility about a-w and z, and were concerned about the project going forward.
You had to admire their professional skills when it came to arse covering.
Welfare State founded 1948.
Computerization started?? Say 50+ years. IBM & ICL mainframes (probably COBOL and proprietary add on stuff). Porting to some other platforms?
BTW those 6 benefits are (IIRC) the headline list. In fact we're talking about maybe 200 benefits.
In 200 systems. With (potentially) 5 000 000 (for very common benefits paid to individuals) records
Hint. A smallish system can run 50 data files with 100s of indexes over them.
Bottom line. Any project manager who understands this and still does not want to bail out is a)Very stupid or b) Has a very big set on them.
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