back to article UK's 'minimum viable product' for Brexit transit software will not be ready until December, leaving no time for testing

The United Kingdom is set to base its post-Brexit management of goods crossing the EU border on software that is still yet to be introduced, leaving little or no time for stakeholder testing. According to spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO), the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), which is set to link …

  1. LenG

    Why does this not surprise me

    The current government has a wonderful record for late and buggy. Why expect anything different here?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Why does this not surprise me

      @LenG

      Not just the current gov. The gov has had form with bad IT for some time.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Not just the current gov

        What's special about this government and this project is the very real deadline we've chosen to leave the EU. Normally the old, pen and paper system can be kept running till they finally deliver the new one.

        That won't work in January.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          Re: Not just the current gov

          GVMS - Governmental Version of Management Shite

    2. Martin Gregorie

      Re: Why does this not surprise me

      Its comforting (NOT!) to see that HMCE's ability to manage IT projects hasn't improved even slightly during the last 30 years. Back then staff at HEO grade and below were OK.

      Above that, fergeddit.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Doesn't this count as better than expected? Assuming it happens, of course.

  3. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

    Excel is a not a database.... !

    "A minimum viable product will be released in December 2020"

    And don't forget the 16000 columns or it may come back to bite you on the ar$e.

  4. Derek Kingscote
    FAIL

    Too Late

    It's Friday 6 November

    There are 33 working days before Brexit [nothing happens over Christmas]

    What paperwork is needed for export and import? OK it might be forms on screens but if the exporter creates the form does the driver need access to show anyone making a query; and what about customs. [chances are there won't be a standard format!]

    And similarly, if you are importing, who creates the import form on a screen, how does the driver access it and if there are tariffs, how do these get generated and paid?

    33 working days!

    That's all I'm saying

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too Late

      Stop talking Brexit Britain down with your negativity. This is all about faith and belief. If everyone has faith in the system then the government will believe it can be a great success.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        @AC

        "If everyone has faith in the system then the government will believe it can be a great success."

        That does explain the ever closer union EU

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Too Late

          You do not get out very much, do you.

    2. Mage
      Coat

      Re: Too Late

      Or is it 35 or 30?

      And don't places wind down on Christmas Eve and Fridays near holidays.

      Then subtract time in meetings.

      I'm gone already! Bye.

    3. Schultz
      Angel

      Don't Panic

      You'll just have to extend the Xmas season for a few days until things get ironed out. Everybody stay home and sing some more Christmas carols. The Easter bunny will come and deliver the goods eventually.

    4. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Too Late

      I thought that Brexit was supposed to make UK self-reliant?

      Why would you need to import something?

      See, half the problem is already solved!

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Too Late

        @Strahd Ivarius

        "I thought that Brexit was supposed to make UK self-reliant?

        Why would you need to import something?"

        Where did you get that idea? The UK has always traded. Getting out of the EU is part of that.

    5. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Too Late

      And for 20 of those days (at least) England is under lockdown and people may or may not be able to work from home...

  5. Andy Non
    Joke

    Cut them some slack

    It's not like anyone knew Brexit was coming until last week.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cut them some slack

      It's like they were hoping Brexit would be reversed. Even the pandemic wasn't enough to force through that decision - or at least delay things another 12-months.

      1. desht

        Re: Cut them some slack

        33 days is plenty time for Bojo the clown to panic and delay again. After all, it's not like he hasn't spent the entire fucking year practicing his U-turns...

    2. Chris G

      Re: Cut them some slack

      It's not a question of knowing about (B)rexit, its about the ongoing search for perfection, the same reason why almost all other UK Government IT projects are still being perfected. The continuing search for perfection will one day produce world leading IT systems in UK government that will leave other countries boiling with jealousy.

      Actually, I'm talking out of my arse!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    December 2020?

    Lets open a book as to when it will actually start working at least 50%.

    My bet is April 2022. Yes, that long. We don't have a trade deal so who the hell knows what is going on a anyway. There really is the little matter of CV-19 to consider. This ain't over by a long chalk. An awful lot more people are going to get ill and die before it starts to get better.

    1. BebopWeBop

      Re: December 2020?

      Ahh, ever the optimist.

  7. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Alert

    Wow

    Almost £800M in costs just for this one element of Brexit. How many days of bus-side lies by Leave does this amount to? Why didn't you guys just get the EU to pay for it? You tired of winning at Brexit yet?

    The answer to the unasked question is: "Never. It will never get old."

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      @Throatwarbler Mangrove

      "Almost £800M in costs just for this one element of Brexit."

      Yup what a mess. But it fell out of fashion to point out costs when the UK saved billions by not being in the EU and their bailout funds.

      1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        "But it fell out of fashion to point out costs when the UK saved billions by not being in the EU and their bailout funds."

        [Citation needed]

        Also, how do the costs of being in the EU stack up against the benefits, and how do they stack up against the costs of leaving? How many lies were told to the British public about those numbers? Those things are all harder to quantify, I know, so don't bother.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wow

          It saves the UK government somewhere in the region of £12-17bn per year (depending on the figures you choose).

          It will cost UK consumers and business somewhere in the region of £12-17bn per year (at least) in import tariffs and export paperwork.

          The UK government will be happy with all that extra cash to splash on their friends. The UK consumer and business not so much.

          1. Adair Silver badge

            Re: Wow

            Really, is that on the basis of what we pay, or on including the benefits we get back in cash, in kind and in simply 'belonging to the club'? Some things are 'unquantifiable' in terms of mere money.

            Hey ho, all actions have consequences - including unintended ones. So, we live and learn, or some of us learn. Others just keep on making the same mistakes, over and over and over ...

          2. Weylin

            Re: Wow

            Those are only the direct costs

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          @Throatwarbler Mangrove

          "[Citation needed]"

          You have heard of the Covid bailout for the Eurozone to be a mutual debt over the members? The vast sums in demand? Feel free to look up your own figures on that.

          "Also, how do the costs of being in the EU stack up against the benefits"

          Since the UK voted to leave the benefits are obviously not persuading enough. So stacked up the costs are huge.

          "How many lies were told to the British public about those numbers?"

          Tonnes. The remain and leave official campaigns lied their arses off. But remain actively threatened to use the power of the government to threaten the population (punishment budget) which is more serious than just lying.

          "Those things are all harder to quantify, I know, so don't bother."

          I agree. There are so many variations of various figures (thats why I suggest you look up the costs of bailout from whatever sources you are happy with) taking different things into account. But the EU definitely costs in money (net contributor), sovereignty, trade and borders.

          1. Dr_N

            Re: Wow

            codejunk> Covid bailout for the Eurozone

            The UK was granted an exemption from any Eurozone bailouts, It's one of the minor concessions won by Hameron. Any bailout money the UK pays in future will be from the IMF which, and I'm willing to be corrected, the UK is still a member of. Which is deliciously ironic.

            Will we still have to put up with Brexitists posting their lies after 31/12/20?

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Wow

              @Dr_N

              "The UK was granted an exemption from any Eurozone bailouts"

              The UK was granted an exemption from bailing out Greece with our contributions. Which was promptly ignored by the EU.

              "It's one of the minor concessions won by Hameron"

              However is this a Eurozone bailout or EU bailout? The latter we would be dragged into and if I understand it right are bailing out members who have their own currency so we would likely be bailing out the EU and Eurozone whatever the 'agreements'.

              "Any bailout money the UK pays in future will be from the IMF which, and I'm willing to be corrected, the UK is still a member of. Which is deliciously ironic."

              Why? Thats how it should be done. We leave and dont bail them out under EU insanity but instead as a sovereign country through our international support arrangements of the IMF.

        3. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          https://fullfact.org/europe/does-brexit-dividend-exist/

      2. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        the UK saved billions by not being in the EU and their bailout funds

        Ah, that's why there's been so much money to splash on Dido, Serco, "boutique" consultants and bungs to "VIP" cronies for failing to supply PPE.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          @Warm Braw

          "Ah, that's why there's been so much money to splash on Dido, Serco, "boutique" consultants and bungs to "VIP" cronies for failing to supply PPE."

          Naa thats just government doing what government does with money.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Software testing?

    Pffft, if it made it to Alpha, shove it out the door, no better testers than the users!

  9. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Minimal viable product

    I think I found it live on the internet already here. It appears to work reliably.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      I think I found it live on the internet already here. It appears to work reliably.

      Nice.

  10. Cynic_999
    Joke

    I saw this and thought I'd share ...

    It's the year 2120. The UK government sends an MP to Brussels to request an extension of something called "Article 50" Nobody knows how this annual tradition started, but the ritual takes place every January.

    1. AW-S

      Re: I saw this and thought I'd share ...

      Your comment instantly reminded me of Star Trek S1 E23.

      "The USS Enterprise travels to Eminiar VII, bringing Ambassador Robert Fox to establish diplomatic relations. Little is known about Eminiar VII, beyond the fact that they have been at war with a neighboring planet, Vendikar [for over 500 years]"...."The two planets have a treaty, according to which they have to kill the "victims" of every simulated attack"

      Synopsis here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Taste_of_Armageddon

      Review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyV020wg5Sg

  11. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Facepalm

    USA...

    Looks like Boris will have go grovelling for whatever he can get with the EU as his good friend Trump is not going to care about giving him his chlorinated chicken free trade deal before he gets escorted out of the White House on 20th January

    1. Chris G

      Re: USA...

      If BJ's friend has anything to do with it, the US will be too busy fighting in the courts and the streets for the foreseeable future before the overgrown orange rugrat is dragged kicking and screaming from the White House.

      Guns, bullets and popcorn are becoming hard to buy.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: USA...

        It will be even harder starting in January since I don't think that UK is growing its own supply of maize...

  12. Adair Silver badge

    WCPGW

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Or, as the old saw goes: marry in haste; repent at leisure.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just as well we will all be locked down.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is what you get...

    ...when you put journalists and journalists' husbands in charge of the country. Man Bites Dog. Wag The Dog. I Was Testing My Eyesight.

    It's not Yes Minister we should look to for insight into Boris' government. It's Drop The Dead Donkey.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: This is what you get...

      I bought this book for a laugh....

      The Cummings Files: CONFIDENTIAL: (Arthur Mathews)

      ISBN: 9780571365821

      It is a real poke at the current establishment, very topical and a hoot.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Still, no one buys any of their food from the EU, do they?

    Because otherwise they might be a bit f**ked on Jan 2nd*

    *Very little will be moving on Jan 1st. OTOH it's likely very little will be moving after Jan 1st as the Farage Garage will be open for business.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still, no one buys any of their food from the EU, do they?

      The need for Farage Garages was clearl to anyone during the Brexit campaign. So all those Kent Leave voters will be overjoyed that the construction is under way. As will be the Leave residents living around the other 19 sites:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8921133/Heavy-duty-diggers-continue-transform-27-acre-field-Kent-2-000-space-Brexit-lorry-park.html

      It's win-win for some: Out of the EU AND living next to a 30 acre truck stop. They must be over the moon.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose part of the problem might be that the talented software developers are scrupulous software developers, and people with scruples (and brains, a prerequisite for a good software developer) don’t want to work for this government - and particularly not on Brexit.

    Nope. The clever software developers (actually, all the brainy people I know - scientists, engineers, medics, designers) are all working out their escape routes to free themselves of this benighted land.

    Je vais aller au France. A bientot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Je vais aller en France."

      FTFY

    2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Angel

      À bientôt

      you'll need a new keyboard

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > you'll need a new keyboard

        Not really. I use my UK keyboard to type French. For short texts, I keep UK layout and use AltGr for diacritics (I am on Linux, so in addition to AltGr I also have a Compose key though you don't need it for French). For longer texts, I switch to Catalan layout, which can be used to write proper French (and Occitan, which I also speak) whereas a traditional AZERTY keyboard cannot (the new AZERTY is OK, though I still don't like them plus I was trained to touch type on QWERTY).

        PS: When I say I use AltGr I mean AltGr+;, e for é, AltGr+', e for ê, AltGr+#, e for è and so on. I don't mean the insane AltGr + bunch of random numbers that people on Windows are (or used to be?) stuck with.

    3. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Contractors mostly

      Those that had the brains left when they brought in employer calculation of IR35 status

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are the requirements defined?

    Considering that there is no agreement in place yet, it may be that the requirements are not even defined, so hardly surprising.

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

      Re: Are the requirements defined?

      As usual for a government project?

    2. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Are the requirements defined?

      Its nice to see their TV ads, getting people to go to the gov.uk, when they havent even decided what the new rules will be....

  18. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    Time flies, kids, time flies.

    In 2016 the UK voted for Brexit, and the US voted for The Big Orange

    Now, it's 2020, the US has voted the Orange out-of-office, and Brexit hasn't even fully started yet.

  19. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    Should have consulted Davis who knows everything about automatic paperless border controls, why would the Channel be more problematic than the Ireland / NI border.

  20. johnyener

    Britain concludes the chapter on approximately half a century of close ties with Europe at 11 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, Jan. 31, 2020. While the U.K. has officially exited the European Union, it is now in the transformation period of creating a new relationship with the EU.

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