Feeds

Transport Dept's answer to embarrassing, cancelled IT projects?

Don't cancel them, forget them if you do

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Department of Transport has maintained a clean sheet on wasteful and abortive IT projects, by opting not to record any such SNAFUs.

Opposition MPs have been making a sport of asking the ToryDem government for details of messed up IT projects - often disingenuously given it was the previous Labour government that initiated the projects.

Peter Wishart, for the SNP, had asked the Secretary of State for Transport "which IT contracts awarded by his Department in each of the last five years have been abandoned; and what the monetary value of each such contract was".

Norman Baker, LibDem MP for Lewes, and a minister in the Transport Department replied: "No such cases have been recorded centrally. However, a full review of all IT contracts, in order to provide a complete answer, would incur disproportionate cost."

But, this should not be taken as an indication that the department has a clean sheet on successfully running IT projects.

Back in 2008, Public Accounts Committee reported that "The Department for Transport (DfT) planned and implemented its shared corporate services project with stupendous incompetence".

It went on: "The underlying computer system was inadequately procured and tested, resulting in an unstable setup when it was switched on. DfT staff do not trust the system which is hardly surprising when we hear that on occasion it took to issuing messages in German."

Not that this is at odds with Baker's answer yesterday. If the department is pushing on with the system, no matter how bloody-mindedly, there is clearly no need to record it as an expensive abandoned project.

And if failures are not recorded centrally when they are abandoned, how is anyone to know? Well, they could always turn to the internet, where they might find that in the year to March the department scrapped £15.4m worth of IT projects ahead of their completion. And the source of that information? A Parliamentary answer. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.