Feeds

ICO pays through the nose for 'website development'

60p a pixel? That'll do nicely!

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.