Feeds

ICO pays through the nose for 'website development'

60p a pixel? That'll do nicely!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Is £585 a reasonable amount to pay out for a favicon? Apparently so, if you are the Information Commissioner (ICO), whose office recently owned up to spending just this sum – mostly from data protection notification fees – on the design and creation of such a beast.

A part of the cost may have arisen from the fact that unlike the typical 16x16 pixel beast favoured for most shortcut links, this favicon involved a rather more elaborate 32x32 design, representing a cost of just under 60p a pixel.

Our story starts with a document published by the ICO last July (pdf), which revealed a total cost of £40,000 splashed out on a new corporate identity. The £585 cost for the favicon was itemised as part of £4,000 spent on web development work.

At the end of January, an interested member of the public – Mark Bowen – tossed in a Freedom of Information request asking who did the work, how the ICO justified the cost, what research it did to check the price was reasonable – and just what was meant by web development work.

The ICO, to give the office its due, responded in just two days – unlike many other public bodies in receipt of an FOI.

Its answers were equally direct: Reading Room Ltd did the work, which was carried out under an existing maintenance contract and not quoted separately. It added: "The work required to put the favicon live was complicated by an old environment (which has since been updated) that caused issues and extended the time taken to carry out the work."

Reading Room were selected on the basis of a standard procurement process for all website work (so no competitive tender would have been required for this specific work) – and the development work carried out in this instance involved updating logos and fonts throughout the ICO website.

Bowen added a supplementary in respect of the "old environment". The ICO helpfully explained that "although there is no recorded information which would provide this information", they could confirm "that the old website development environment was upgraded from one server to two".

Which leaves little more to be said, apart from a perhaps hopeful disguised tout for business from Bowen, who ends the correspondence for now by adding: "I was just wondering about it all really as I'm a web designer myself and knowing that a favicon has never taken me more than five minutes to create and install on any server I've ever worked on (and I've worked on many different types). I was quite astounded at the cost shown for such a simple task."

We did ask the ICO for comment, but have yet to hear back. ®

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
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
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.