back to article Spending watchdog blames British Home Office for delays to £1bn crime-fighting IT system

A critical report by the UK's public sector spending watchdog has blamed the Home Office for delays to a new crime-fighting IT platform designed to replace two systems on the verge of obsolescence. The National Law Enforcement Data Service (NLEDS), which was supposed to be up and running last year, is designed to replace both …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Process

    1, Choose a supplier

    2, Sign contract

    3, Pay supplier

    187, agree on exactly what the system should do.....

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Process

      I'm pretty sure there are some steps before choosing the supplier, generally involving the exchange of brown envelopes ...

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Process

      The problem is that if they write the spec for the new system before they do everything else then they'll have to stump up the full cost of the system and, more importantly, the full cost of any changes they want to make cos they wrote crap requirements in the first place. My experience of government projects is that they get developers/suppliers contracted on projects with a low spec. (and hence low price). This has two advantages - they look like they've got a good price and any cost growth will likely fall on a different administration. Then, they try to grow the requirements without paying the full cost by using a range of techniques, the main ones being threatening suppliers with not getting future contracts, using delaying tactics to drag the contract out at the suppliers' expense (££ and reputation) or going legal very early and pointing out that going to court would be more expensive than just doing the additional work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Process

        I've never seen a project spec like that get written and then remain unchanged throughout the entire build time. The changed are always sold as "improvements" and add both time and money to the project.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Process

          Isn't this the business model of IBM/Crapita/CapGemini/etc ?

          You have more lawyers than engineers, making sure you exactly fulfill the requirements while delivering something that is totally useless - and then charging for changes.

    3. staringatclouds

      Re: Process - minor correction

      1. Choose a Tory party donor

      ...

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    IR35

    Government under pressure from big consultancies introduced IR35 in public sector to remove qualified independent specialists. This caused massive drop in quality, as they thought they can just fit these roles with people straight from the "boot camps" finishing a couple of online courses, that those big consultancies hire.

    Now public sector has to deal with massive failures and also cannot find right people to help rectify them.

    Of course no investigations why this happened, who is responsible, who benefited...

    Introduction of these changes in private sector meant to create a level playing field for access to talent, but specialists won't touch zero rights employment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IR35

      "caused massive drop in quality"

      So we can at last say that Fujitsu have finally been ahead of the consultancies for once..

  3. Howard Sway

    Home Office has "decided to accept the risk of running the PNC without support"

    The image of Priti Patel screaming "make it work! make it work!" at a group of unfortunate techies springs to mind far too easily reading this article.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Home Office has "decided to accept the risk of running the PNC without support"

      Why do they need a computer when everybody (*) is guilty ?

      * government ministers, police officers and anyone with a title excepted

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Home Office has "decided to accept the risk of running the PNC without support"

      Theresa May was by far the longest serving Home Secretary in recent times. Most survive less than a year in the job. On that basis, Priti will be out very soon and replaced with another useless idiot.

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