back to article City council megaproject to spend millions for manual work Oracle system was meant to do

Europe’s largest local authority has allocated £5.3 million ($6.7 million) in next year’s budget to pay for manual workarounds deemed necessary after its effort to transition from SAP to Oracle ended in an expensive disaster. Birmingham City Council (BCC) — which is effectively bankrupt owing to a £760 million ($961 million) …

  1. wyatt

    As a council they're crap. Roads department make stupid decisions that have to be rolled back, IT ones that just don't work, planting trees that are vandalised within hours, unable to sort out equal wages, giving bin collectors an additional paid role that then messed up everyone elses pay.

    Hell knows where they'll be in a few years time- bin collections will be the next thing to change, care and social packages none existent, arts are already due to be chopped from the budget.

    1. Lurko

      Don't worry, the important stuff (for councillors) isn't being cut.

      The cut down BCC capex plan still includes £60m being pissed up the wall on "enterprise zones", £9m on "Birmingham City Centre Retail Core Public Realm", £52m on Digbeth Active Travel, a further £95m on cross city "Active travel", £50m on "HS2 readiness", £30m on a waste incinerator in Kings Norton, and a staggering £18m tarting up the hideous monstrosity that is Moseley Road Baths. All of which pale into insignificance with the £200m being spent on housing acquisition and development over the next four years and £880m on council housing improvements.

      Quite remarkably in the circumstances, the capex plan says they'll invest a paltry £7m in 24/25, £1m in 25/6, and then NOTHING on IT for 26/7 and 27/8.

      1. Ochib

        The Active Travel money is from Central Government. BCC bid for this over the last few years. If it isn't spent the money just back to Central Goverment

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "The Active Travel money is from Central Government. BCC bid for this over the last few years. If it isn't spent the money just back to Central Goverment"

          Given BCC's track record on spending on anything, is anybody expecting them to spend the Active Travel money well? Seems to me a distraction for councillors and officers who need to focus on doing the basics.

          It'll just be frittered and be spent on unused cycle lanes, scratter scooters, road closures, maybe more of the the inefficient and wildly expensive trams. BCC have already won the war on private cars in the centre, and now seem surprised that whereas nearby Solihull has a pretty thriving town centre, Birmingham is a bit of a ghost town, and that's in part because high spending customers aren't going to get the bus, but the denizens of 'spoons are, along with the fine people I see every day queuing outside the law courts. Even the flagship stores in the Bull Ring are finding it tough, if Selfridges pulled the plug the whole lot stumbles, then England's second city will have a centre entirely based on crap coffee chains, charity shops, phone shops, discount tat shops, and fast food outlets using ebikes to speed fatty rubbish to the terminally lazy.

          Funny to think that all these LTNs, 20mph speed limits, and general anti-car policies are intentionally funded by the Tories.

          1. Tron Silver badge

            It's like a localised Brexit.

            They are now breaking city centres by making them impossible or expensive to access. They are killing footfall and excluding the elderly, disabled and families with small children. Active travel is impossible for many and inadvisable in the British climate, which is usually too wet, too windy, too cold or too hot. The sums they are using to build fancy paths are eye-watering, as they cut basic services. The local car taxes from LTNs are just going into council coffers to make up for years of failings and Brexit-originated inflation. The destruction of the national economy is now being visited upon cities like London, Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol. The surveillance level and app requirements for drivers are Chinese in scale and will wreck tourism.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: It's like a localised Brexit.

              Sheffield says hold my beer.

            2. FlatSpot

              Re: It's like a localised Brexit.

              "Brexit-originated inflation"

              Geez, what a shoehorn... nothing to do with covid borrowings then

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. ShortLegs

          "Hey now, they still have to make sure money reaches their crooked tory mates who paid to put them there"

          Total cockwomble. The council is Labour led, you dickhead.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Given the lack of affordable housing nationally, £200 million on housing aquisition and development isn't going to go very far....

        1. Phil Kingston

          I'd guess that cost isn't just market-value for property and renovations - they'll be a substantial admin/troughing element

        2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Well, the national avg for a typical home is around the £280k mark I think. So 200,000,000 will buy 714 homes... before any of the other costs/expenses are taking into account... so you could probably lower that 10%... 643 homes.

          If they build them... they could build about 1000 as (according to a home builder family friend) about 2/3 of the sale price is the build cost... But that's not factoring in any infrastructure that might be needed... ya know like roads, sewers and so forth.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            "(according to a home builder family friend) about 2/3 of the sale price is the build cost"

            and [most of] the rest is land cost. And obviously some profit, but they certainly aren't making anything like 33% profit margin.

            Obviously the proportions depend on location. A house in Middlesborough sells for a lot less than one in Chelsea. Build cost will be a bit lower in Middlesborough, but not that much lower, the main difference is in the cost of the land.

          2. a_builder

            Developers allow

            33% land and planning costs

            33% build costs

            33% gross margin

            Be careful as gross margin then has all the head office and insurance costs taken from it so IRL you might make 15% if everything goes swimmingly.

            In construction there is always risk - things like the out of control materials and labour inflation we saw two years ago. Impossible to budget for that. Subcontractors going bust and leaving a part finished mess behind.

      4. goodjudge

        Don't worry, the important stuff (for councillors) isn't being cut.

        "All of which pale into insignificance with the £200m being spent on housing acquisition and development over the next four years and £880m on council housing improvements."

        You may have noticed a lot in the press in the last 2 years about damp and mould in social housing, and forthcoming government regulation on the same. You may also have noticed a large fire in a tower block a few years ago followed by (stable door / horse) government regulation on the same. You may have read articles on the number of people stuck in temporary accommodation or hotels, that are costing councils a fortune. You may also have noticed numerous press reports about how Britain has some of the least energy efficient housing stock in Europe. And you may recall that Maggie T (boo hiss!) expressly rigged the Right To Buy process for council tenants so that councils couldn't spend the money on replacing lost stock.

        So councils nationwide have an aging housing stock, often thrown up in haste after WW2 and nearing (or even exceeding) the end of its effective life, that the government is requiring them to spend vast amounts of money on, otherwise the tenants will sue them or the housing ombudsman will fine them or the government inspectorate will take them to the cleaners. Or more likely all 3.

        TL:DR - sorting all of the above is never going to be cheap.

        And of course the governing party, with a large number of landlords in their ranks, is resisting rolling out similar legislation to protect the millions of private tenants.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Just a reminder that the next Birmingham City Council elections are in 2026.

      Plenty of time to put together fully costed plans over, say, a 20 year time scale for a city of 1 million people during a period of considerable technological and social change. Look forward to reading your manifesto.

      A gentle reminder to all who may not live in the region that HS2 kind of happened as a result of central government policy. The city and (WM Combined Authority tbf) just had to deal with it. HS2 being, of course, a model of project management with clear timelines and the consistent delivery of a well articulated plan (see icon).

      Best of luck.

  2. t245t Silver badge

    Priceless ..

    Questions I would have asked:

    a. Is there such an Oracle system deployed with a similar business?

    b. Did it deliver a usable system on time and on budget?

    1. ColinPa

      Re: Priceless ..

      Question 3. Does anyone else have a good, working, cost efficient system we can copy?

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Priceless ..

        More than likely but since Birmingham has to be customised in terms of changing employee numbers , changing background graphics etc etc, that means Oracle will have to charge another £50 million because of the contract variance.

        I deeply suspect that it would have been quicker and cheaper for Birmingham to have bought and trained its own programming department for its bespoke software......

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: Priceless ..

          Or use Excel with a few customized Python macros scripts?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Priceless ..

            That's what they are using when 'Orrible doesn't work.

          2. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Priceless ..

            Excel, without the customised Python scripts, is how the real work is done. Always. Everywhere.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Priceless ..

        We already know the answer to that is "NO"

    2. Jeff LeCoat

      Re: Priceless ..

      Yes and yes.

      Oracle Fusion ERP isn't the best thing since sliced bread but many councils implement and use it successfully nationwide. Also very popular with universities (except Edinburgh!) and other non-corp clients. Screwed up implementations have always happened and these make the headlines.

      No I do not work for Oracle and yes I do this for a living.

      1. matjaggard

        Re: Priceless ..

        Depends on your budget though.

    3. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: Priceless ..

      The question that should be asked is when the original plan to deploy the "out of the box" Oracle solution was changed to deploy a heavily modified solution why the project was not halted to identify and justify the reasons why the changes were required. There seems only 3 reasons to change the "out of the box" Oracle solution.

      a) The solution will not meet the agreed requirements and specs.

      b) BCC are asking requirement changes because BCC have discovered requirements they failed identify at the requirements gathering stage or some have changed.

      c) BCC planned to adapt their business processes to fit the solution, now they require the solution be adapted to fit their business processes.

      If a) then BCC should be demanding Oracle sort it out.

      If b) then BCC should have gone back requirements gathering stage and done a much more thorough job. Then from the requirements cost the changes that are required and do a CBA against keeping the old SAP system. If the costs outweigh the benefits then scrap the project writing of £20 million, better than were they are today £131 million spent so far for a projected saving of £27 million over 10 years.

      If c) which seams to be the actual reason then produce a plan to adapt their business processes to fit the solution, cost it and do a CBA. Produce a plan to modify the solution to fit BCC business processes, cost it and do a CBA. Then compare the best CBA against keeping the old SAP system and only move forward with the project if benefits outweigh the costs.

      1. Phil Kingston

        Re: Priceless ..

        I don't know much about contracts, but if I were a BCC tax payer I'd be very much asking why there wasn't a "If Oracle stuff it up then they have to fix it at their cost" clause.

        Do we know why they decided SAP wasn't working for them?

        1. Jon 37

          Re: Priceless ..

          Developing custom software is hard. No-one will give you that kind of guarantee unless you are giving them a spec. Even then, you will get a guarantee that it works to spec, not that it actually does what you want.

          1. a_builder

            Re: Priceless ..

            I’m struggling with how to screw up a banking reconciliation module……little cheap systems manage that…..

      2. a_builder

        Re: Priceless ..

        It does seem odd that the problem is the banking reconciliation module……it isn’t like accountants always start from the bank.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See Also.....

    Edinburgh University

    River Supply Inc. (Pennsylvania)

    Relevance you ask. Well....Larry Ellison for a start!

  4. Tim Soldiers

    Get woke go broke.

    They should have defended the equal pay claim robustly, Binmen are not the same as school crossing ladies.

    2nd thing...

    How rubbish are you, when you can't install an ERP system that the NHS rolls into Trusts within 3 months pain free.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Mike Godwins second law

      Anyone who uses 'woke' as a pejorative, 99% of the time turns out to be a fuckhead.

      Don't blame me (or him)... it's science.

    2. NeilPost

      Yes. School crossing will need an enhanced DBS check for a start. Think of the children.

      Binmen just need to be able to move a Wheelie bin, press a button and make arbitrary decisions on whether to put a waste prohibition notice on one.

    3. keithpeter Silver badge

      "They should have defended the equal pay claim robustly [...]"

      The council did. All the way to the high court. They lost.

      The resulting precedent is working its way through the system now, and it is estimated that about one third of councils in UK may end up in financial distress as a result.

      (One issue that has been raised locally is why there was not a fall-back plan for the possibility of losing the various legal challenges.)

      Best of luck.

    4. localzuk

      I think you've got that the wrong way round. The fact the council wasn't woke is the problem. Because, as the court ruled, they broke the law by treating women disadvantageously due to their gender...

      So, you need to add a Don't to the front of your initial statement.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Index cards

    Keep the temp staff, train them up.

    Use a totally manual paper based process.


    Maybe, but the millions wasted so far are much more insane.

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: Index cards

      But when Oracle come knocking with snake-oil it's hard for them to ignore

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: Index cards

        Big Multinational Corp can always afford a sales effort that will blindside an organization whose procurement people are overstretched, inexperienced and under-remunerated junior civil servants. It's just not a fair fight.

  6. Tron Silver badge

    Credit where it is due. This was years in the making.

    You don't screw up this badly overnight. It takes years of incompetence for things to fail this badly. Maybe someone could allocate a few quid to look back over the years of failure by overpaid councillors and overcharging, parasitic consultants, identify those responsible, empty their bank accounts into the public coffers, and then throw them in jail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Credit where it is due. This was years in the making.

      The collective noun for Consultants should be: Shyster

      Oh, look the boss is meeting with a shyster of consultants.

      1. Julz


        We should go with the German for their offices; Rathaus.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Credit where it is due. This was years in the making.

        i think politicians already use that collective noun

    2. a_builder

      Re: Credit where it is due. This was years in the making.

      It isn’t the councillors who will have made the real decisions.

      It will have been the executives who will be paid £100k’s that is where the blame should lie. By now they will have moved in circles to their next better remunerated job..

  7. Bebu Silver badge

    You would have to wonder...

    《new solution design to reimplement Oracle in a more “out of the box” approach with few modifications, changing business processes to accommodate the software.》

    You would have to wonder whether the existing business processes were ever going pass a decent audit.

    Even Oracle's software tat would not create money from the vacuum nor vanish it into the void.

    So deciding on a reimplementation or modernisation of the business processes to meet contemporary standards should have been the first cab off the rank followed by evaluating the available software that implements those processes.

    Actually looking at similar organisations that have successfully made the leap and adopting their systems and processes in toto has a lot of merit.

    I would wonder with the sums involved whether it would be cheaper to employ a host of clerks and go back to journals and ledgers. :) Goose feather quills and inkhorns?

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      Re: You would have to wonder...

      They could employ lots of people called Cratchett too.

      Actually.. scrap that. If you take into account historical inflation... Bob Cratchets wages today would actually be higher than the minimum wage.

      Scrooge was actually a generous employer paying a living wage.

      1. VicMortimer Silver badge

        Re: You would have to wonder...

        I thought you had to be making that up.

        But no. Turns out it was the equivalent of $14.20/hour, almost double the US $7.25 minimum wage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You would have to wonder...

      "Even Oracle's software tat would not create money from the vacuum nor vanish it into the void."

      Nope that needs Fujitsu ICL Horizon...

  8. NeilPost

    20% local tax increase - rubbish.

    In England, councils with social care duties can raise council tax by up to 4.99%, without triggering a referendum. Others can increase it by up to 2.99%.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

      They can apply to the govt raise it further... the govt have basically made a blanket agreement with all of them to say yes to whatever they want.

      There's only a few counciles in the UK who are not raising council tax above the threshold. We're getting an 8.6% rise here.

    2. Julz


      Part of the 'special circumstances' that rule was waved.

    3. collinsl Bronze badge

      Brimingham has already been authorised to raise theirs 9.99% for the next 2 years.

  9. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    BCC = Systemic incompetence

    I went to a gig in Brum in the latter part of 2022. By my own admission, I never knew about the ULEZ zone and my satnav was darting me around backstreets to avoid rush hour traffic... so I never even noticed signs about it.

    Because I'd moved a few weeks earlier, and because of the postal strikes. My V5 was delayed in being updated and returned with the new address... and also because of postal strikes and mail redirection... any mail could take 3-4 weeks to get to us via the old address.

    So in the new years... 32 days after being sent. A PCN arrived. This PCN gives you 28 days to respond, 14 if you want to pay the reduced charge.

    I was happy to pay the £60, and informed the council of the mistake issuing the PCN to the correct address and asked for them to reissue it correctly.

    They ignored it for 12 months.

    Then in Jan of 2024, I get a letter trying to charge me triple the amount plus... they apologised for the delay in responding but stated they could disregard anything I said because it was longer than 28days. They also refused to issue an NoR which you need to appeal to the tribunal.

    So I was advised to wait for the charge notice to be issued and a claim made through the traffic enforcement centre.

    When that arrived (all of a sudden BCC are desperate to try and recover money for some reason) I filled out the witness statement telling them why and that they'd been asked to reissue to the correct address.

    TEC cancelled the PCN... now BCC have to waste more money and resources deciding if they want to 'correctly' issue the PCN like they should have done 15 months ago. They've lost the fee for logging it with the TEC too.

    All because of incompetence and bureaucracy, desperately trying to recover £190 instead of the £60 that was owed... how much more was wasted in work hours after ignoring it for twelve months, reviewing the reasons and deciding... to ignore their own mistake as justification for trying to screw over people for triple the amount... only to have to cancel the entire PCN and then waste more money/resources deciding if they want to reissue it to try and recover £60.

  10. aaaashy

    why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

    i have always wondered why it its left up to each council/NHS Trust/publicly-funded business to commission their own software solution? Why is there not a top level group whose job is to vet systems for their suitability and organise how they work within the relevant system. It has always seemed destined for eventual disaster, when each small segment of the country tries to do this, with, it seems, predictable failure, over-spending, and chaos caused. Surely every council/etc has the same, or similar, requirements ... so why the hell is this practice repeated ad naseum. Have no lessons been learnt? The amount wasted on trying to get unique systems to work is colossal.

    1. munnoch Bronze badge

      Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

      I've commented on this before. I imagine they all think they are "special" so it doesn't even occur to them to coordinate with each other.

      Birmingham, largely urban, Argyll and Bute (my council) largely rural -- one has trams, the other has islands, ferries etc.. Both have their unique challenges. But so far as the vast majority of their day to day competencies I couldn't agree more, there is massive overlap between authorities, at least up to national level where the statutory stuff is decided.

      The fundamental problem is that local authorities are in charge of far too much diverse stuff. They need a massive range of competencies and resources to run their various departments and there is little fungible between them. They are really a loosely coordinated set of individual "businesses" that just happen to be funded out of the same pot, but other than that never the twain shall meet.

      How anyone can sit at the top of the pile and honestly say to themselves that they understand the full range of what they are responsible for is beyond me, but they do. And this is the problem, the organisation is wrong. They think of themselves as a local hierarchy first and a set of services second. They don't think, hey could we share our waste management competencies with other local authorities and spin it off in a sort of federation that runs at arms length reaping economies of scale. It can have its own greatly simplified ERP system and all it has to do is post our share of the costs back to our general ledger so we can work out our bottom line. Repeat for each department.

      Unless/until they are compelled to stop thinking of themselves as autonomous states within states and start thinking of themselves as simply the local coordinator for a set of standardised services then we'll continue to have these massively inefficient and largely incompetent fiefdoms. But without those where would we train up our future central government masters?

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

        West Midlands is responsible for the trams, not Birmingham; and the Scottish Government is responsible for the ferries, not Argyle and Bute.

        However, Argyle and Bute is responsible for the buses, whereas Birmingham is not (West Midlands does that).

        The bus timetable stuff is a central system managed by the Dept for Transport. You could extend that idea to other areas.

        1. munnoch Bronze badge

          Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

          Depends on the route, but yes Calamity Mac is 100% the SE.

          My point though is that A&B and the other rural authorities may have to think about getting bin lorries and social workers etc. onto ferries before they can start their shift, and hopefully back to mainland again before close of business. Brum probably does not but it'll have its own niche things to worry about.

          But neither should be thought of as an obstacle to getting individual services working consistently and effectively up and down the country.

          I think what I'm getting at is services should be provided by horizontal integration rather than the current system of vertical integration.

      2. B A Lert

        Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

        My local District Council has attempted to share waste collections with our neighbours, and on both attempts it has failed and they have now taken the service back 'in house'. Thank God they diidnt go through with the full marriage!

    2. goodjudge

      Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

      Some years ago our former council leader, when asked why he wasn't considering cutting certain back office costs by teaming up with neighbouring councils, just replied "because they're basket cases". That they were a different political colour might have had something to do with it as well.

      I've often wondered the same about recycling, given that there are only a few companies, generally nationals or multinationals, who process what we bin. Why do different councils need their own deals with the same company?

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

      Councils are collectively responsible for the same things everywhere in England.

      The only difference is that in many places, including Birmingham, you have two different councils. In Birmingham your Lower Tier Local Authority is Birmingham City Council, and your Upper Tier Local Authority is West Midlands Combined Authority. How the responsibilities are split between the two in Birmingham will be different than in for example Basingstoke or Oxford.

      So you just need to have modules for each of the responsibilities, and let councils install the ones appropriate for their area.

      1. Jon 37

        Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

        Or... Standardize. Things are split like that for historical reasons. Split them consistently across the country. Or better, take some of the functions away from councils entirely and make them national services.

        Traffic enforcement does not need to be a council by council thing, a single organisation could do that, or better make it a police function.

        Bin collection does not need to be a council by council thing, a single organisation could do that nationwide.

        Social care does not need to be a council thing, make it a new department of the NHS.

        And I am sure there's more.

        Some things do make sense to have locally, run by local politicians, such as planning permission for buildings, and improvements to local transport (roads, busses, etc).

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: why is there not a single countrywide system for councils, that has been vetted by experts?

          I do agree that transport works better when run by a regional rather than national government.

          Compare for example the trains in London that are the responsibility of TFL when Boris John was Mayor of London with the trains in other parts of England + non-TFL trains in London when Boris Johnson was Prime Minister.

          Social care: I think the biggest problem is the split between NHS and councils. Councils can save money by cutting spending on social care, but that costs the NHS more, about 20x times more, than the council saves.

  11. Retired IT Consultant

    Functional requirements? Never saw them

    A few years ago I worked on an Oracle cloud transition - from on-prem Oracle to cloud. The "Analysis" stage was done by a Big Four consultancy. They were booted at the end of that stage because the client felt that the communication with the consultants was poor ("they had a few meetings with us, and then disappeared for six months and came back with their deliverables.") When we started Design and Implementation, we pulled out the 200-page Functional Requirements Document from the consultants, and the key experts on the client said that they had **never seen it**. It appeared to be a template from Oracle that the consultants had just filled in. We threw it away and just started prototyping with the software, walking the clients through demos of the functionality and determining fit. It worked out fine in the end.

    I spent most of my career using the "waterfall" approach to Analysis - Design - Construction - Implementation, and saw it fail as often as it succeeded. Might work well for a completely bespoke system, but with package software, I think you need to get users into a sandbox asap.

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    So......... where are the job adverts for all this extra work that's needed?

    1. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      > where are the job adverts for all this extra work that's needed?

      It will all be agency staff

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        So......... where are the job adverts for the agency workers for all this extra work that's needed?

  13. Duffaboy

    I live there unfortunatley

    The same incompetent council gets voted in time and time again by their party faithful, the voters have misplaced loyalty and the ruling Labour Party know that they can mess up and saddle us citizens with the bill without any redress. A 21% rise in everyone's council tax has been approved and they are laughing all the way to the bank, as the new price is now set in stone and will never come down, so the next rise scheduled after 2025 will default probably back to 5%.

    1. Julz

      Re: I live there unfortunatley

      I think that if a council area is run into bankruptcy (section 114 notice), then all the responsible elected officers should be bared from office and the whole council should be put up for re-election. Letting the same bunch of councilors that caused the issue (or at least didn't deal with previous issues) try to fix them seems ludicrous.

  14. JulieM Silver badge

    Needs a firm hand

    Excuse my French, but why the fuck has anyone spent a halfpenny on Oracle, in a world in which Postgres and MariaDB exist?

    There needs to be a strong presumption against the use of proprietary software by the Public Sector. It is not the people's business further to enrich billionaires.

    Even if we have to create a new national body to be responsible for creating replacements for proprietary software, it will all be worth the effort; as this money need only ever be spent once and everyone will be able to benefit from it, forever.

  15. cantankerous swineherd

    not sure why you're getting sniffy about this, looks to be way cheaper than fannying about with oracle / sap / whatever.

  16. Nematode

    Should've just asked ChatGPT to code it all up. Sorted.

  17. Ashto5

    BCC here is an idea

    Why not contact a council that has good working systems and use theirs

    Pay a fee and job done

    All councils do the same sodding thing why are WE paying for the same process in so many different locations

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