Transport Dept. IT: 23 years late, £100m over-budget
And that's a successful one...
The Liberal Democrats have got their calculator out again and added up all the cost over-runs and delays at the myriad IT projects at the Department for Transport.
Taken together, all the DfT's various IT projects are 23 years late and more than £100m over budget.
This sounds bad until you realise that one project, the Shared Services Programme, is £92m over budget. The scheme - to provide central services for several transport departments - was originally to cost £31m but now has an estimated cost of £123m. But at least it's not late yet - the project is due for completion in April 2009.
Even more disturbingly this is the department which the National Audit Office told us on 16 January was a shining example of government good practice.
The Department for Transport has also been doing its bit for the government's drive to throw away all our data - it lost details on three million people taking the UK driving theory test from a "secure facility" in Iowa. The records included names, addresses, phone number and email addresses.
Vince Cable, the Lib Dems Shadow Chancellor, said: "Gordon Brown is living in a dream world if he thinks larger IT projects like ID cards are going to be any different."
A DfT spokesperson said: "DfT and its Agencies are providing high quality and often pioneering IT services to their customers, who demonstrate high levels of satisfaction with the service they receive, as well as improving the efficiency of our own operations.
"A recent National Audit Office report highlighted the achievements of the Department, which has taken the lead across Government in providing many and necessary services online. This report also highlighted the £33m expected saving that came with this."
The spokesperson shrugged off the Share Services cost overruns. "The Shared Services Transformation Programme is a long-term commitment to streamline and transform the way we work. The programme has already delivered its first major milestone - in April 2007 - with the opening of the shared service centre in Swansea." ®
Olympics don't benefit the whole country
The Olympics will not benefit the whole country. The correct figures are that it will take around £200 million out of the rest of the country and move it into the London economy. That is why I was always against the Olympics. At a time when this country is already absurdly London-centric and access to underground stations will probably soon have to be rationed to stop overcrowding, having the Olympics just makes it even worse.
North - South divide
London is a poo hole - but the North can offer Hull, Scunthorpe, Bradford.
My personal favourite (albeit in the Midlands) is Birmingham - it's bloody dire.
Let's all pi** off somewhere nice eh ?
@The other Steve
Well I'm living in London, and yes it is an overpriced, overvalued, piss stinking filthy congested dark (piss stinking filthy badly maintained buildings block out the sunlight) hole.
Not sure about the scruffy layabouts bit though.
Much of London's population (Zones 1 to 3 anyway, which covers most of London) is full of a vast variety of people from lots of different countries.
Mainly though, it seems to be full of retail and offices, and the associated folk. These people are all largely hard working, and badly treated folk.
Badly treated by their employers and poorly paid in relation to the massive amounts of rent they have to pay - and none of them except the old school bankers apprentices could realistically afford to save up for a £15,000 deposit for their minging, tiny little flat with the (mostly always) crap landlord or even crapper estate agents.
Give them more money and the rest of the country complains they are getting paid too much, whilst the local councils bump up the council tax another 10% to take care of kids forming gangs and having fantasies about being proper gangs and get knives and guns and have fantasy wars which actually go to far and get people killed on occasion.
Give them more money and the house prices soar even further. The average price of a house here? No, a flat then? £250,000 for a poxy shoebox.
I hate living in London for that reason, the air of desperation is a stinky as the piss in the streets.
London has been poorly treated and badly neglected for a hell of a long time.