Feeds

IT waste extracted from UK.gov

Phew! What a stink

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The British government has admitted to Parliament that its IT projects have over-run by more than £260m in the last five years.

That was enough, said Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, to build and kit out a new hospital.

It demonstrated "chronic mismanagement on an epic scale," he said in a written statement. "Any public company with this sort of track record would have sacked its board of directors."

Considering that the government estimates its annual IT spend to be approximately £12bn a year, a back of an envelope calculation makes the Lib Dem revelation less astonishing than Huhne makes out.

More astonishing is how low the government's estimate is.

Take one example, the poor embattled National Programme for IT. When tendered by the government in 2003, NPfIT was set to cost £2.3bn over three years. By the end of the following year, leaks where estimating the cost at £6.2bn over 10 years, because the government had left out of its own estimates the cost of implementing the system - as though it where reasonable to advertise the price of a family saloon at the cost of its unassembled parts. Eighteen months later the official cost estimate had rocketed to £12.4bn.

To be fair, the National Audit Office said last year that the government had always known that NPfIT would cost more than £10bn, even when it said it would cost £2.3bn.

So, the cost over-run total all depends on presentation, which brings us back to the costings the government provided in answer to the Lib Dem questions. They reveal that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) went 66.3 per cent over-budget on its IT projects, to a tune of £62.46m.

The Department of Transport miscalculated less proportionally, at 27.9 per cent, but went even more over-budget at £136m. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was about £35m over budget, while the Home Office was nearly £19m over budget.

The Department of Health over-run is listed as a mere £3.5m. Perhaps the National Programme for IT has been a roaring success after all.

Butif we had the whole story, we might be able to make our minds up. Take another example, the Department for Work and Pensions, which according government figures give the Liberal Democrats, went over-budget by precisely £0.00.

They must have forgotten the £539m the DWP spent on computer and business reforms for the ill-fated Child Support Agency from June 2000 until the point at which in June last year it announced the whole lot would be scrapped. That should count as an overrun by the DWP, no? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.