back to article Russian data scientist unable to claim £12,000 prize in Brit competition

A data scientist claims the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) diddled him out of a £12,000 research competition prize because he is Russian – despite assurances he'd be able to claim the money. Vladimir Iglovikov entered DSTL's Data Science Challenge earlier this year. The section of the challenge he …

  1. Dr Paul Taylor


    John Harrison's clocks. If your face doesn't fit...

  2. j.bourne

    In a sane world (dream on) acceptance of the entry in the first place should have been good enough as long as the details of the competitor entering weren't hidden. The entry was plainly accepted in full knowledge that the entrant would be disqualified. Pay - up!

    Not rules as such.... merely guidelines?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      acceptance of the entry in the first place

      reminds me of a friend of mine - got a job at a restauarant in the Lake district - with accomodation . I helped move him up there (100 miles) . The owners were out so the staff siad "yeah just move your stuff into that room" .. all was well

      , then the owners turned up , decided his face didnt fit and it was all off !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hey BAE, gotta feeling that somebody has to stop chewing, turn on the light and lift the pillow. Being mousy? Do share, because so The Campus ruled. Sharpen your pens, team (-;

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not for long....

    "Russia's score for 2014 was 27, ranking it equal 136th alongside such havens of transparency as Nigeria and Iran."

    Chairman May is aiming us to rank lower than them, should be complete by the end of the year.

    1. Martin Summers

      Re: Not for long....

      Go live in those countries and decide whether that's really the case.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not for long....

        I have worked for extended periods in all four of them (including Blighty) and lived in two. Are you sure you want to hear my opinion?

        1. Martin Summers

          Re: Not for long....

          And that link has what to do with May exactly?

          "But the events of the next 48 hours ensured that the SFO would not be allowed to collect those files. Instead came a sudden harsh lesson in the realities of power and politics in Blairite Britain."

          Plus it's the Guardian, which granted is usually a Labour rag but still...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not for long....

        yet much less cctvs on the streets

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clause 2.3b of the competition rules

    Just to make things clear, this isn't about eligibility to enter and compete in the competition; it's just about eligibility to be awarded a prize.

    Eligibility to enter and compete is covered by Section 2 of the 'Official Rules' which is headed "Eligibility to take part in Data Challenges" and the only restrictions to entry are:

    2.1 Data Challenges are open to individuals aged 18 and over. Entries made by or on behalf of corporate entities will not be accepted.

    2.2 Officers, directors, employees and their immediate families of the Sponsoring Agencies, BAE Systems, Capgemini UK PLC, Roke Manor Research Limited and their respective group companies, contractors and agents may not participate in Data Challenges.

    However, clauses 2.3 & 2.4 of the competition rules do not refer to eligibility to enter and compete but just address exclusions of payment:

    2.3 No payment shall be made (whether directly or via a third party/country) to:

    2.4 If UK Government is not (or its authorised representative is not) reasonably satisfied as to the potential recipient's identity, no payment shall be made to that person.

    And it is sub-clause 2.3b that refers to "a score of 37 or less according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index 2014"

    I find it a bit puzzling to allow someone to enter but then specifically exclude them from being awarded a prize, should they win.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: clause 2.3b of the competition rules

      "I find it a bit puzzling to allow someone to enter but then specifically exclude them from being awarded a prize, should they win."

      Makes perfect sense.

      1. Invite clever entries

      2. don't have to play out.

      3. Keep prize money

      4. Monetise code

      5. $Profit$$$

    2. Paul Kinsler

      Re: clause 2.3b of the competition rules

      Hmm... does rule 2.3 refer to *where* the money is paid to, or *who* he money is paid to? Oh, I see it's both.

      But could he nominate (eg) a UK charity to receive his prize as a donation?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: clause 2.3b of the competition rules

      I find it a bit puzzling to allow someone to enter but then specifically exclude them from being awarded a prize, should they win.

      Not that puzzling, this is the usual "kick the Ruskies" shit that emanates from the British government. Regardless of the poor state of Russian governance, I see no reason that the winner should be blocked from receiving the prize he's due, on arbitrary criteria for which he has (I suspect) no personal responsibility. And of course, the thieves and bureaucrats at DSTL will now be claiming that they own the intellectual property of the entry. When it comes to stupid, petty, unfair rule making, the British government is world class, so we shouldn't expect anything more.

      I do hope the Kremlin get involved, and do something that causes the British government some suitable embarrassment and expense.

  5. Snorlax Silver badge

    To be fair to the organisers...

    Before the competition started Iglovikov asked DSTL about the rule. He said to us: "We asked about this discriminatory rule and organisers said that it will be changed."

    ...they did say the rule will be changed, just not this year.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: To be fair to the organisers...

      It will be changed to keep track of China and Russia's score next year

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Start a New News Program with Enlightened Scripts to Follow and Make True for Real Enough

    Competition entries, once submitted, become the property of the British government. Such challenges are fairly routine in the world of defence science and technology research as the government tries to slurp the fruits of private-sector thinkers.

    Which is most probably why the state of governments is so poor and practically always under some sort of PACT or other [Persistent Advanced Cyber Threat] from that and/or those with a mind not to be taken advantage/cynically abused. And all the really bright sparks are never found toiling in the public sector, are they.

    Be honest now. ...... for if they were things would not be so austere and inequitable to be a root cause of so much that is presented by media to terrorise and be a constant source of future daily and zero day concern.

    Use Virtual Means and Memes. IT aint difficult like rocket science to uncover new star turns able to create, command and control and crash planetary systems of exclusive executive administration.

    And that title could also be written Start a New News Program with Enlightened Scripts to Follow for Real and Make True Enough.

    The simplest and slightest of changes in past tales of yore easily changes the reality presented to paint a whole new picture ....... and so it is with the times and spaces in which we all play today

  7. kend1
    Big Brother

    Not new or news

    Hello Thomas and welcome to BA "Fly in Comfort & Style" recruiting.

    Please have a seat. That's your computer science resume is it?

    OK first question, how would you design a fail-safe messaging system to be distributed across 200 critical systems. [45 minutes later] Thank you for your time Thomas.

    Shirley, please send in the next applicant.

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "detecting and classifying vehicles in satellite imagery."

    Oh dear, someone thinks "NCIS:Los Angeles" is a documentary.

    Multiplied by "Let's put BAe Systems in charge of running the competition."

    What can possibly go wrong in this scenario?

    Fair enough, it's defense related, no furriners allowed (if this was the US DoD you can bet that would be the first rule) but "Furriners allowed, but you can't have a prize if you win" WTF?

  9. Hstubbe

    I would be upset if he *did* get the money. Sponsoring terrorists, never a good idea.

  10. Richard Boyce


    At least he can put this result on his C.V. to enhance his reputation. I suspect the organisers are not too keen on transparency in this case.

    Now, if I felt inclined to be really cynical, I might wonder if he was awarded the result for the purpose of depriving someone who was eligible for the money.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BAE? Those leading lights of honesty and transparency?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed I suspect it is exactly because of press like this that BAE and DSTL's lawyers have put in such a clause.

      If you're doing everything you can to avoid allegations of corruption it would seem sensible to me to avoid making any payments whatsoever, under any circumstances, to countries which score low on the bribery & corruption index in case some graun reporter gets wind of it and puts you on the front page again.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To cut the long film at its first season: Vladimir has an unalienable right to not to take into account the rules of DSTL regarding the author's rights on his projects and developments. And BAE has just added another stinky note to the previous not-too-remarkable and still not desodoured smell of their way of doing "business".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like bureaucrats making it up as they go along. An all too common phenomenon.

    As for BAE - I will never again do business with them. They have the lowest corporate ethics of any organisation that I have worked with, including some of the openly criminal ones.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I sometimes wonder why they are known as "Billions Above estimate"

    I'm kidding.

    As soon as I see their grubby paws on something I suspect it's going straight down the sh**er.

    BAe do have mad skillz though.

    At extracting money from government con-tracts (at least there's a fair element of "con" if they are involved).

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