Feeds

NHS IT: what went wrong, what will go wrong

We draw up a handy list of excuses for civil servants

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Granger's macho approach to negotiating with suppliers has also been criticised. Dealing with a company over ten years requires a relationship to be nurtured - not just posturing.

Hart also favours a local, bottom-up approach: "Maybe they should have eaten this elephant in small chunks. That would be better for smaller, local businesses."

Why can't civil servants run an IT project?

Asked why the civil service has such a dismal record on IT projects Hart said: "There are two main reasons. Firstly there's much more scrutiny - you've got the National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee and politicians all looking at it. In the private sector it has to become a mega mess before anyone hears about it.

"Secondly it's the way the civil service works internally. It's a blame culture and a question of check lists - you're safe if all the boxes are ticked, even if it doesn't make any sense. There's a pressure to conform - it is very difficult to stand up and say no."

Hart said there was also the issue of "tour of duty" - senior civil servants are typically in post for two or three years and politicians for even less time. Civil servants also need to understand that suppliers exist in order to make a profit - if you force a supplier to cut costs every year then their revenue will fall. If revenue keeps falling the project manager is likely to get moved or sacked.

Norman Lamb, shadow Health Secretary for the LibDems, said: "This is yet another example of a hopelessly flawed, centrally imposed project that has not been properly thought through from the start and was never subjected to a proper cost benefit analysis."

John Pugh, LibDem MP for Southport, told The Register: "Fujitsu's departure shows that despite the government's best efforts at dismissing all concerns there are serious problems with this project."

Pugh sounded the alarm for the project in the future: "Fujitsu have pulled out because they cannot make it work for the price which is on offer. It puts great power in the hands of the remaining suppliers. No doubt someone will step in but they'll step in at the price they want. We're in for further delays or substantial financial overshoots."

The government was likely to try and make virtue out of necessity, he warned, and re-badge the project in some way and spin the different approach as a reaction to doctors' concerns.

Even a change of government was unlikely to make much difference, said Pugh, because so many civil servants are behind the project - classic "Yes Minister syndrome" - that change would be like turning around a supertanker. The Tory party did not respond to Register enquiries. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.