How many atossers
work at atos?
The government is to cast a critical eye over all its contracts with Atos – worth £696m per year – after MPs urged the Cabinet Office to review its relationship with the outsourcer following an IT failure last year. A report by the Public Accounts Committee in December singled out Atos as having failed to show "an appropriate …
You'll probably find that, at the start, the public sector says "This IT project isn't like any other IT project, so won't suffer from the same problems."
Then, at the end, they'll 'fess up and say "Actually, it was quite like all the other IT projects. Because we failed to learn from them, we made the same mistakes as everyone else."
What exactly makes you think that the investigations are meant to ensure IT failures cannot happen again ?
If I remember the lessons of Sir Humphry Appleby, those investigations will most likely be made to ensure that the people responsible will be whitewashed, while the culprits will be designated as "market forces" and other assorted "outside influences" over which nobody has any control and no one could have forecast.
So nobody's actually at fault, bonuses all around and, as we can see, new contracts awarded in a jiffy.
Me, cynical ? Whatever makes you think that ?
But is that the fault of ATOS or those who created the contract without milestone payments and/or late delivery penalties?
I heard of a public sector contract which had late delivery penalties. Even before the project was complete (it was over running by this stage) the supplied said: "If you invoke the late delivery penalties, we'll go bust".
With no clear policy in the NHS of how GP's should store their information (at the start of this computer revolution) then it's clear that this was doomed from the start, can you imagine how many different systems are in use? I've changed doctors a couple of times and I've noticed them using completely different systems myself.
As usual they have it all the wrong way round, migrate all GP's onto standard secure systems then extract the data or is this just another milk the taxpayer stunt.
The most important lesson learnt from this and many other exercises is that the government before they get these pie in the sky ideas is that they actually talk to people that have the knowledge to explain the costs, benefits and potential problems rather than signing off on something that is not possible and allowing companies to bid on them knowing full well they will never deliver. What person orders something only to be told we can't do it and pay 40m for the privilege? What person continues to use that same supplier? No one with half a brain.
I did think that as an alternative solution but then I thought about who would implement it in so many fragmented systems and align them all into a standard format by changing variable names, moving data and reconfiguring the front end, not to mention creating the json/xml web interface to the data. I just think it would be easier to move them into something else that is well thought out to do the job then deal with the historical data separately. I'm unsure who supplies IT services to GP's, is it companies tasked with the role for multiple surgeries or is it in house for the smaller ones?
To be fair these are questions the government should have asked before sploffing all the money at atos for them to piss it up the wall.
I'm with you on this one but unfortunately it doesn't fit with the present Conservative party dogma.
"Localisation" and "Choice" are the buzz-words, not nationalisation of IT systems.
It would probably be illegal too, I can imagine the software suppliers of healthcare systems would sue the Gov as it would kill off their business.
Still it IS the most sensible solution.
The problem with mandating systems rather than formats is there's then no portability across public and private health care, or across borders. Mandating APIs and record formats means there's room for competition in providing systems, and systems can be designed appropriately (GP needs are different to a hospital, for example)
Government IT Contract....Check.
"...the steps that need to be taken to avoid such mistakes being repeated again"
Oh wait, you're serious!?
If they don't scrutinise any contracts below £10m... Can I have one of those sound-great-but-don't-ever-work contracts worth £9.9m per annum please? That would be my pension sorted. I'd even hire two or three suited-up bullshit spewing sales droids with a degree in turd polishing who happen to be Tories.
1. I don't want my health records on a computer at all, thanks, certainly not one connected to the internet. shouldn't worry too much I suppose as some freelancers will come along and encrypt them properly free gratis.
2. the substantive investigations into contracts will take place over lunch at the ivy, with follow ups at Wimbledon and the royal opera house, Covent garden. its all going to be a silly misunderstanding that the chaps will resolve without any unpleasantness.
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