Feeds

ICO pays through the nose for 'website development'

60p a pixel? That'll do nicely!

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
Apple tried to get a ban on Galaxy, judge said: NO, NO, NO
Judge Koh refuses Samsung ban for the third time
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?