Feeds

Philip Green discovers ugly truth of government incompetence

Gravy train contains actual gravy

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sir Philip Green's review of government procurement has uncovered the type of incompetence, waste and over-charging that will be familiar to anyone who has ever read an account of any government IT project.

To begin with, he struggled to get any decent information out of central government - which in itself reduces its ability to procure anything properly.

Shopkeeper Green was first told that central government spends £2bn on travel each year. Then he was told it spent £500m - lastly, he was told £768m.

A review of the figures found they were all wrong and central government actually spent £551m. Green said he was unable to ascertain how much was spent on travel outside central departments.

Different departments pay vastly different amounts for the same supplies - printing paper varies from £8 to £73 per box, printer cartridges range from £86 each to £398.

Central government departments spend £61m a year on laptop and desktop computers, and often do not buy direct from manufacturers. The money goes 13 different suppliers who maintain an estate of 460,000 desktops and 60,000 laptops. Prices range from £353 to £2,000 for laptops.

Green referred to an IT services contract costing more than £100m a year with six years remaining. He notes that the majority of the work, for hardware and software development, is sub-contracted to another firm, so the government is paying for two profit margins. Charges are more than £1,000 per person per day, much more than market rates.

Green said: "It is a poor quality contract with no provision in the contract to reduce the annual amount payable should the development work not be required."

Another bundle of IT services contracts with one supplier with three years to run are worth more than £300m a year. Green said contract details, terms, rate cards and other prices are different across departments and costs are "significantly greater than they should be".

Fixed line telecoms are estimated to cost £2bn a year and are all negotiated separately - Green reckons savings of 30 to 40 per cent are possible if the government bought its own capacity centrally.

Mobile phones are another depressing example - total spending is £21m on 105,000 devices, with 98 per cent of the money going to one supplier. However, the government does not have one contract but 68 separate contracts, all negotiated by different departments and all ending on different days.

You can dowload the report from here (pdf). ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
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

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.