Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wasteful Govt Computer Says Nein

Government waste and crap computer systems reached a new low today with revelations that a transport department 'efficiency drive' will end up costing taxpayers £81m. The commons watchdog has branded it "stupendously incompetent". And to make matters worse - the damn computer speaks German. 

Public accounts committee (PAC) chairman, Edward Leigh, said it was one of the worst cases of project management he had seen.

The Swansea department of transport payroll and admin centre was originally down to cost £55m leading to £112m savings.

But the programme will now cost £121m and save £40m, meaning taxpayers will have to make up the difference, as £81m is poured down the drain.

MPs were told the new computer system had even issued messages in German.

PAC seems to be running out of words to describe government IT scandals but they threw the dictionary at this cock-up. The project had been "rushed through", deadliness "overly optimistic" and the result was "lamentable". 

The computer system was "inadequately procured and tested, resulting in an unstable set-up when it was switched on." 

Of course no-one has been disciplined yet alone fired over the scandal. And no government minister has crawled out of the woodwork to issue even the slightest apology, explanation or take any of the blame. 

Even that is small fry compared with the NHS's multi-billion pound Connecting for Health (CfH) computer system. The biggest non-military IT computer project in the world, is set to become the biggest IT disaster in the world, costing a staggering £12.7 billion and four years behind schedule. When will they ever learn?

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