* Posts by Kay_terra

24 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jul 2012

Oi, drag this creaking, 217-year-old UK census into the data-driven age


I can't help but wonder if they've got past the old storage issue that put this one on the back burner in 2011 after Francis Maude realized that the proposed aggregation of data would require IL6 storage (aka the same used by the spooks) to prevent national embarrassment, outrage and so on.

Anonymising data after it has been received is well and good, but you have to store the original data somewhere ... and last I checked, the cost of adequately securing the data was higher than the cost of the paper census.

Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives


Artisan, schmartisan

I will be eating one of these ironically next time I fancy something with my 12%abv £63.00 pint of craft beer on Shoreditch high street.

Cabinet Office gears up to ink mega Oracle deal


I can hear Stephen Kelly spinning in his exquisitely tailored suit and pulling out his immaculately coiffed hair. In his original role as Crown Commercial Representative for Oracle, before becoming Cabinet Office COO he opined regularly on the evil that was Oracle, even going so far as to say that they were rummaging in his bins trying to denigrate and discredit him.

Seems, even if they found nothing, the tactic was successful as Kelly went upwards and onwards to less confrontational roles, and Oracle found an opposite in CCS who was a lot less capable in deflecting their shark like tactics.

C'mon, it's the current year! Report finds UK gov could save £2bn by modernising IT


"there is a risk that digital teams will continue to be viewed as website designers, brought in only at the very end of policy design processes"

If it looks like a shit, smells like a shit and feels like a shit, don't be surprised when I turns out to taste like a shit.

After 4 years of the misfortune of working in departments, GDS really were nothing other than overpaid website developers. When we tried to get them engaged at strategic stages, they rattled their MacBook air and muttered 'Cloud' every so often before retreating to their beanbags and tweeting about obstructive departments no understanding 'Digital'.

The idea that GDS has a strategic overview of Government is about as plausible as the notion that Cabinet Office can deliver an ID&V for the whole of Government. They really don't have the skills, leadership or capability to drive strategic change ... unless the change is to how they design websites.

Whitehall waste: Cash splashed on consultants and temps up 90% in half decade


There was a skills and capability agenda under John Suffolk which stared to be dismantled by Bill McCluggage in 2010 and which Liam Maxwell finally killed in 2012. A team dedicated to resolving IT skill shortages in Whitehall.

Then consider 2010 spend controls banned recruitment of consultants and contractors without ministerial approval (initially from Mad Frankie Maude, later delegated to departmental ministers).

Now Maude is gone ... this would appear to me to be a clear indicator that he iron grip he wielded on departmental spending in IT is loosening. Other symptoms - departments not complying with GDS edict, Liam Maxwell being sidelined, GDS directionless with no political support.

UK's GDS to hire 300 folk. Silver lining: They'll be evicted from Holborn


Re: what makes GDS think they can do it any better?

Obvious troll .... GDS walked into Universal Credit with the attitude 'How hard can it be'.

They tried to turn it into a front end development before realising just how complex it was. 3 short months later, they literally gave up and were walked offsite by patient, and slightly irritated DWP staff

Hey, Britain! Meet Mr Maxwell, our new National Tech Advisor


Re: How about doing some research, commenters?

I did work in govt IT before the arrival of, and then under Liam Maxwell, and everything that you are attributing to him was underway before he turned up. If you want to give 'credit' for this litany of 'success' look to Francis Maude who kicked itall off, and then hired Maxwell to be nothing more than a bull-nosed policeman of his processes. I have never worked with or for someone quite so deliberately obtuse, and like many on power, he has very few independent thoughts. His legacy is an increasingly labyrinthine governance process and a load of personal influence (GDS uses GMail and other Google products, Maxwell's wife is an exec in Google) on petty matters while costing departments literally hundreds of millions of pounds through interfering in procurement processes.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Have fun in the non-job.

Met Police to slash hundreds of IT jobs, hands £216m outsourcing gig to Steria


Not in line with the general govt drive to save money through build over buy. Watching as DWP, MoJ and others start to recruit diginobs to recruit the shoreditch set in to run their IT. Maybe the Met Police is being sensible and keeping their infrastructure out of the hands of the web developers with delusions of being an IT professional community that is building in Govt?

Mike Bracken suddenly decides to quit GOV.UK outfit GDS


And he's off ... to the co-operative group. I hope he takes his cultists with him and leaves us to get on with fixing the mess they made.


No one is surprised, the house of cards is starting to topple and the department's are starting to see past the smoke and mirrors. 700 people to build a website. And they are proud of that.

TfL to splash £400m on networking deal, despite GDS opposition


What a coincidence. New Minister for Cabinet Office in place and the first major contract is let in breach of the GDS fascist regime. The dam has burst and I think the big departments will soon start to shove past the red tape and deliver what they want rather than being held up for years by the individual opinions of a small group of technology illiterates.

'Whitehall must address creaking IT', says ex CIO big wig


Andy was a good CIO, shame he got forced out by the Cabinet Office because he didn't exhibit the required deferential and cultist like behaviour with regards 'digital' and 'cloud'.

Imagine refusing to compromise your requirements to shoehorm your tech into the latest fad solution, madness.

So where's all these digital services GDS promised us?


I think the election will begin the unravelling of GDS. For all the good work that has been done (such as in OPG on lasting power of attorney), there has been a litany of failures, mostly limited to an attempt to interact with any service or solution of any great scale.

I think GDS would have been better served remaining as a small, agile delivery body rather than trying to fling its weight about in the departments by determining strategies. Without the political nous of Francis Maude giving them air cover, I can't see the big departments actually bending the knee to them for much longer. I'm struggling to think of a politico with the amount of capital in the bank to maintain such a grip on departmental spending as Maude had.

That said, Maude's appointments - Maxwell being the obvious one will surely be quickly out the door should anything other than a Tory led government end up being returned in May.

Universal Credit could take 10 YEARS to finish, says Labour MP


The scrapped system was being implemented "at pace" to get it in place before the general election.

Having written off £300m to Accenture, IBM and HPES, GDS take over development. 6 months later GDS run a mile ... DWP replan to a schedule that would have been a realistic place to start from 5 years ago.

It's a good idea, but it is time for people to stop underestimating the complexity when flying in to 'save UC' ... I'm currently watching from the sidelines waiting for the next Director to skip on to something easier, retire or resign ... it's a poison chalice.

Ark scoops £700m to host ALL UK.gov's data centre needs


Wonder if they are going to force departments into this solution irrespective of whether it works for them. Last I heard this deal lives and dies on whether the big departments get on board ... and with an election in the offing, and Francis Maude having resigned will GDS have the same authority to mandate approaches as they have over the last four years?

NAO slaps down Cabinet Office gov-IT savings claims AGAIN


So what happened to the money?

I think the key issue on these savings that is seldom asked is ... 'What happens to the money'. Public sector financing is such that a department gets a big chunk of money each year and then spends it as it sees fit. GDS has some control over any of this spend that falls into IT. BUT (and here is the key bit) if GDS force a reduction in scope and reduce the costs of a programme .... what happens to the saved money... It doesn't go back to HMT (for such an act would be an admission from a department that they asked for too much, and impact budgets next year!), rather it is reallocated to AN Other IT project or area of spend. All departments run huge portfolios of projects and there is always a need for money. So the money isn't 'saved' at all.

I think rather than bemoaning a lack of evidence, the NAO should call Cabinet Office out and investigate the actual value being added by these layers of bureaucracy.

Universal Credit IT system could lead to MORE FRAUD, MPs warn


Re: Benefits are not a "handout"

If your wages aren't enough to support your family, why did you have a family?

Benefits should not enable people to make or support life decisions precluded to people who work.

The very notion of the 'benefit trap' appears to be a challenge for you to comprehend.

Fujitsu: We're not blacklisted by gov, but we want private work



Certainly no formal blacklist, but do you think that UKGov would give them a contract following the Flex fiasco and the DWP contract screw up? It makes commercial sense to not suffer the costs of bids that are doomed to failure and focus efforts in attaining work from companies without a historical experience of poor service.

Hong Kong's lucky mobile number hawkers revealed

Thumb Up

Mobile networks here run algorithms to extract memorable numbers ... I used to do it for TMUK for a few years. I recall simple numbers that were sequential or had repeating sets of numbers being cheap and popular with costs of up to 1500 for a number that had the last 6 digits sequenced or identical.

So we do it in the UK too ... I recall a rumour I heard that a customer, on hearing Orange had been allocated the 07777 prefix range offered them some obscene sum to have the 777777 suffix.

Axe falls on Directgov as GOV.UK launches


Re: Nice Design

A cursory glimpse at the internets will let you know that the government has actually hired people into the GDS to build and run the service. Tom Loosemore led a lot of the web work and the executive direction came from Mike Bracken ... so yeah, not an agency.

Cynicism is expected and healthy, but it pays for it to be based in fact rather than lazy speculation.

Everything Everywhere to be Nothing Nowhere in rebrand


Lets get proper retro ...

One 2 One is quite old, but lets get back in the 80s when hair was stupid and phones were larger Smart for2.


Cabinet Office faces SME supplier backlash over Cloud Store



ERG driving departments to cut the length and tie in of major contracts, but such leviathains as DWP and HMRC retain either a single, or set of contracts with tier 1 suppliers and despite these being 'non-exclusive' they still do not procure outside them as the cost of doing so would negate any savings.

Unless the centre begins to enforce the absence of these integrator contracts, business will keep going to them and not to SME.

UK's chief procurement officer quits for COO post at recruitment firm


Smith, seriously?

I'd be surprised if Smith was handed the post ... his team at DWP are exceptional inspite of him, not because of him.

I'm wondering which of Watmore's private sector army will go next, Pitchford from MPA, maybe?