back to article Brit pensions scheme flushed £74M when it walked from Atos deal

A UK government pensions organization paid Atos £74 million for two years of a £1.5 billion ($1.8 billion) contract, which it then ended 16 years short of its potential 18-year term. The National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) signed the agreement with the French IT and business process outsourcing provider in 2021 after a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there anything easier

    Than spending other people’s money?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Is there anything easier

      Pissing on someone's leg and telling them it's raining?

      Or trickle down? No action needed whatsoever?

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    18 years

    Big consultancies are milking it.

    Anyone knows why they are exempt from IR35? Asking for a friend.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: 18 years

      "Anyone knows why they are exempt from IR35?"

      They have more than 5 shareholders.

  3. anothercynic Silver badge

    Sounds like someone's crying sour grapes... so what if you spend nearly a million bidding for a contract... when you win it, you're quids in and you rake in the dosh, as clearly Atos has (74 times the amount they 'spent bidding'). Clearly Tata knows the environment better (or they were deliberately being obtuse to scupper the Atos deal).

    Either way, bidding is 'good' for the market, but the way the bidders (and the eventual winners) tie themselves into things isn't really.

    And yeah, NEST needs to seriously reconsider how they did the bidding process and see what they learn from it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Brexit bonus

      Without having to comply with EU legislation means the UK gov't are not obligated to engage in open and competitive tendering.

      The ability to make up the rules (and break them) as you need means you can spend other people's money much more quickly (and help your friends)!

      </Allegedly>

    2. Lurko

      Well what they said (from article):

      "while the commercial, technical, and service requirements for the Nest transformation remained the same, its approach to risk had changed. As a result, it would only consider suppliers with "experience in operating within the UK defined contribution pensions market" who were "able to evidence a digital-first service" and "show experience in delivering both a service transition and data migration" in that market."

      Which would appear to mean that these clowns were previously entirely happy to spend tens of millions with a supplier with no experience of the UK defined benefit market, who was unable to evidence a digital first service, and presented inadequate evidence of service transition and data migration.

      But you can be confident that this all went through public procurement rules as NEST is a quango accountable to Parliament through DWP. As well as being the scheme administrator, NEST are also a trustee of the National Employment Trust, which is an uncomfortable overlap and should never have been allowed. In this case, it appears that the £74m is being treated as an administrative expense, which means it is coming out of the pension accruals of the scheme's members (who are of course voiceless).

      The entire board should be sacked.

      1. IamStillIan

        "Which would appear to mean that these clowns were previously entirely happy to spend tens of millions with a supplier with no experience of the UK defined benefit market, who was unable to evidence a digital first service, and presented inadequate evidence of service transition and data migration."

        While I get your drift, these big public sector contracts have issues in that regard.

        It's pretty common to run into public sector contracts which require "has done <really niche and specific thing which could only possibly be satisfied by the incumbant because no one else has had that contract but them>", which destroys the whole tendering concept.

        If you actually want a choice, you have to be willing to tolerate someone who hasn't done exactly the same thing. If you're not, and the incumbant figures that out, they'll explain about the 1000% price inflation to keep them on..

        1. Lurko

          "It's pretty common to run into public sector contracts which require "has done <really niche and specific thing which could only possibly be satisfied by the incumbant because no one else has had that contract but them>", which destroys the whole tendering concept."

          Also applies in the private sector when you want specific skills where there's only really one player who is REALLY good.

          But in this case, the defined benefit administration market is not niche, there's many providers in the private sector, and at the core of this fiasco is that NEST never needed to exist other to create the scheme, after which it should have been farmed out one of the many pension fund managers - L&G, Aviva, Aon, Buck, or their many competitors.

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        it is coming out of the pension accruals of the scheme's members

        So much easier when it is... a defined contribution scheme

  4. HISTSIZE=10000

    That wasn't enough to help Atos...

    ... out of their financial woes.

    Atos stock is now worth less than 0.1% of its 2012 value (lost 99.92% of its value). Quite a performance.

    Now is the right time to answer the "Who is Thierry Breton?" question.

    1. neilg

      Re: That wasn't enough to help Atos...

      Atos are a shower. Nuff said.

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