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Articles about National Audit Office

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National Audit Office tears government's savings claims in HALF

The National Audit Office has questioned the Cabinet Office's weighty ICT savings claims and revealed it still does not know how many small biz suppliers are winning public sector contracts. Minister Francis Maude's merry band claims it saved taxpayers £702m on tech and comms spending in fiscal 2012 ended March - £354m through …
Paul Kunert, 23 Jan 2013
francis_maude_flames_evil

NAO slaps down Cabinet Office gov-IT savings claims AGAIN

There are lies, damned lies and Cabinet Office statistics which give the impression that the Efficiency and Reform Group are achieving much more dramatic ICT savings than they actually are. Or so says a National Audit Office report, which again criticised the processes used to calculate how much money Government Digital Services …
Paul Kunert, 17 Jul 2014
Electronic waste dump in China

Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

The Home Office frittered away hundreds of millions of taxpayer pounds on a botched tech project designed to manage immigration and asylum applications, a National Audit Office report has revealed. The "flagship" IT programme, the Immigration Case Work computer system, was launched in 2010 to replace fragmented systems and pull …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014
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National Audit Office: Open data the key to 'big society'

Parliament's finance watchdog has said that stronger information strategies and more transparent government data will be key to the 'big society' agenda. The delivery of public services by charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises will require a "step change" from earlier attempts to open up government, such as the …
The Register breaking news

Wales Audit Office boss sacked amidst laptop smut claims

Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales has resigned from his £170,000 a year post after porn material was allegedly found on his laptop. In fact, the post is in the gift of the Queen, so his resignation has been forwarded on to her. The National Assembly is now looking for an interim successor. His laptop was seized, The …
John Oates, 04 Feb 2010

UK.gov's flagship infosec program ISN'T DELIVERING - but all's still well, say auditors

The UK's National Cyber Security Programme is not yet delivering on its much-vaunted economic benefits but is still a worthwhile exercise, according to a report by government auditors. An update by the National Audit Office for Parliament's Public Accounts Committee on the government’s National Cyber Security Programme said that …
John Leyden, 12 Sep 2014

Labour vows: We'll pause one-dole-to-rule-them-all for drastic fix-up if elected in 2015

The Labour Party has promised to put the brakes on the deeply troubled Universal Credit system for three months if it gets into government next year. During that time, shadow work and pensions minister Rachel Reeves said that Labour would urge the National Audit Office to conduct a review of the lumpen welfare reform programme. …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Jun 2014

Psst: Heard the one about the National Pupil Database? Thought not

The Tories were big fans - in opposition - of labelling the then-Labour government a "database state" as it lumbered from one ID card disaster to another. But now that the Conservative Party is heading towards the mid-term point of its coalition with the Lib Dems, the notion of hoarding ever-more information about British …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Nov 2012

SHOCK HORROR: Oz's biggest govt agencies to miss infosec deadline

Australia's largest government agencies will miss a July deadline to implement even basic information security controls. The Australian National Audit Office's (ANAO's) annual report says that the country's biggest government agencies won't deploy Defence-issued controls to implement fast patching and organisation-wide …
Darren Pauli, 25 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

IT bungle left dole office unable to check benefits for months

Late delivery of IT to support the Work Programme left it without a system to carry out automated checks on whether people - who had been placed into work by the programme's 18 prime contractors - had stopped claiming benefits. A report by the public accounts committee, which draws similar conclusions to a National Audit Office …

NHS chiefs' claims exposed: GP-data-grab boss claimed fattest expenses of the lot

An evangelist for the state to extract and share private data made the largest claims of any NHS board member, according to information released under the Freedom of Information Act. "The highest individual bill was for Tim Kelsey, national director for patients and information, who spent £46,000 during the year — including more …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 May 2014
Three  UK Passports

e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt

Brit taxpayers face a £224m bill in cancellation fees after the UK government scrapped a £750m contract for a passenger-checking computer system at its borders. The contract for the e-Borders IT project, which is supposed to scrutinize the identities of people entering the country, was signed in 2007, back when the Labour Party …
Iain Thomson, 19 Aug 2014
BBC logo 2012

‘Scapegoated’ BBC tech boss calls foul, kicks off unfair sacking tribunal

The BBC’s former technology chief John Linwood claims he was made a scapegoat for the collapse of the Digital Media Initiative – the corporation’s £125m media sharing and archiving project that was axed a year ago with nothing to show for it. Linwood was placed on gardening leave (on full £287,000 pa pay) as the project was put …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 May 2014

Auditor rains on Bureau of Met's data warehousing parade

An ambitious project to create a single national water database is going to need a complete reboot, with the Australian National Audit Office saying complexity, non-standard approaches and supplier capture caused a multi-million-dollar blowout in the system. The Bureau of Meteorology was given the task of creating the database …

Fujitsu and Capgemini's giga-quid HMRC lashup given drubbing by govt auditors

In yet another example of a sprawling government contract gone monumentally wrong – the second of the day – HMRC has splashed £7.9bn on an IT outsourcing deal that is looking very tough to justify. Capgemini and Fujitsu won the ten-year Aspire deal – a merged Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise contract – way back in 2004, and …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2014
BBC logo 2012

BBC man Linwood 'was unfairly sacked' over £100 MILLION DMI omnifail

A BBC technology chief who took the fall for the Corporation's failed £100m Digital Media Initiative was unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has ruled.. The tribunal that found that the BBC broke the law in suspending its chief technology officer, John Linwood. The tribunal found Linwood was unfairly dismissed under the …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Aug 2014
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NAO: UK border bods not up to scratch, despite billion-pound facial recog tech

The UK Border Force's inefficient use of technology is one reason it's failing to carry out enough customs checks or detections of illegal immigrants, according to the National Audit Office. The NAO said in a report that border staff managed to cut immigration queue times down during the London Olympics, but only at the expense …
ISC Compucolor II. Source: Oldcomputers.net

Fingers crossed! Half a trillion quid in public cash entrusted to ageing gov IT

Nearly half a trillion pounds in tax and other revenues lining the UK government's coffers every year are processed by decades-old IT systems - and the National Audit Office is worried. The auditors, who this week published fresh research [PDF] on public-sector tech, estimated that £480bn of government revenue relied on legacy …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2013

15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

London's Metropolitan Police are about to be equipped with a new crime-fighting tool: Apple's iPad mini. "We want the officers out there fighting crime on the streets rather than sitting in a police station tapping on a keyboard, not solving anything," the force's head flack Richard Thwaite told the Financial Times (registration …
Rik Myslewski, 07 Feb 2014
The buttons on a mobile phone glow in the dark

4G auction helped keep mobile networks competitive ... for NOW

The auctioning off of radio spectrum for the delivery of "4G" mobile broadband services did not result in the distortion of competition in the market, a spending watchdog has said. The National Audit Office (NAO) said that the 4G auction run by the UK's telecoms regulator Ofcom last year achieved one of its two main objectives …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Mar 2014
Delia Derbyshire tweaks a Jason oscillator

BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

The BBC failed to heed warnings given as early as 2010 that its Digital Media Initiative uber-project was vague and getting nowhere - according to the National Audit Office, which published its investigation into the disaster today. Executives at the Beeb's finance committee, its executive committee and the BBC Trust all …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2014

Operators get the FEAR as Ofcom proposes 275% hike in mobile spectrum fees

Ofcom has “rethought” the fees that UK mobile networks pay for their 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, based on the industry's reaction to its latest proposal. Previously Ofcom decided to hike the annual fee that the networks pay for access to spectrum from £65m to £309m – a relative rise of 375 per cent. That’s now been modified to …
Simon Rockman, 01 Aug 2014
MP Margaret Hodge in the Commons

MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge has said she was "shocked to her bone" that the tax authority used laws put in place to combat terrorism to investigate an employee after he blew the whistle on a deal to let Goldman Sachs cut £8m to £20m from its tax bill. The MP challenged the chief exec of HMRC, Lin …

UK public auditor, scourge of tax-dodging big biz, hosts its site on ... Amazon

The National Audit Office may have highlighted government suppliers that pull levers to minimise corporate tax, but it failed to mention it too works with at least one such organisation. Via an online gov supplier catalogue, the public spending watchdog contracted DXW to host its website in March, but DXW in turn buys hosting …
Paul Kunert, 14 Nov 2013
Houses of Parliament at night-time

NAO: £4bn of gov work doled out to just 4 outsourcing giants

In spite of the Cabinet Office's tough talk about binning hefty suppliers whose performance is crappy, four outsourcing giants caught up in contractual issues have amassed £4bn of government business. The fabulous four include Capita, Serco, G4S and Atos, which collectively banked £1.05bn in profits globally in 2012. Between …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2013
Prison window

Euro chief of scandal-smacked Serco leaves as cop probe continues

It is a case of out with the old and in with the er...old after Jeremy Stafford, the European boss at outsourcing giant Serco, got on his bike, leaving current UK COO Andrew White as his replacement. These are tough times for Serco, which is the subject of a probe by the Ministry of Justice and subsequently the Met into fraud …
Paul Kunert, 22 Nov 2013
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Total cost of that axed NHS IT FIASCO to taxpayers: £10.1bn

The shambolic nationwide NHS patient record computer system, abandoned by Whitehall in 2011, will ultimately cost UK taxpayers a staggering £10.1bn. US-headquartered Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), alongside UK telecoms giant BT, failed to fully implement the massive project, sparking widespread derision before the plug was …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Aug 2013
Virgin Media Satellite acquisition

Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

On 18 September, the people living in Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide if we should to slice the top off Great Britain and create a separate country. If that happens, and once the locals sober up, Scotland could be a country with universal broadband, a publicly owned postal service and mobile coverage which would be …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2014
The Register breaking news

BBC's Digital Moneypit Initiative known to be 'pile of dung' for years

BBC executives ignored warnings that the corporation's £100m+ digital media extravaganza project DMI was on the rocks - and now it's being reported that the National Audit Office had been misled about the state of the project. The extravagant scheme was cancelled by new Director General Tony Hall last month, with almost £100m …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2013
MP Margaret Hodge in the Commons

MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, has said that the failure of the BBC to realise that its Digitial Media Initiative uber-project was headed for certain doom went "right to the top". Hodge, who is due to quiz senior members of the Beeb again on Monday next week, said that she was shocked by the …
The Register breaking news

Cash woes hold back National Insurance IT improvements

A National Audit Office report says that limited money for IT is hampering improvements to the administration of National Insurance. The report, published on 30 June, says that HM Revenue and Customs' Contributions Office, which maintains personal records on the National Insurance (NI) database, would like to make significant …
Kable, 30 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

UK.gov's £530m bumpkin broadband rollout: 'Train crash waiting to happen'

The UK government's ploughing of taxpayers' cash into deploying countryside broadband networks has been branded a "train crash waiting to happen". That's the view of a well-placed Whitehall insider who revealed that Blighty's public spending watchdog will next month publish a scathing report into the crashingly expensive …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2013

Government IT contracts to be scrutinised by UK competition watchdog

Britain's competition regulator plans to investigate whether too few suppliers command an unhealthy share of the government IT market. The Office of Fair Trading is seeking views from technology providers and purchasers working in the public sector to find out if it's tough for small businesses to bid for government contracts. …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Jul 2013

Japan needs 80,000 EXTRA info-security bods to stay safe

Japan has an 80,000 shortfall in infosec professionals, and needs to provide extra training for more than half of those currently in the industry, if it’s to protect key IT systems from attack, according to the government. A government panel of information security experts met back in June to draw up a long term plan to address …
Phil Muncaster, 09 Oct 2013
BBC Testcard

BBC: Hey, Atos, old buddy. Here's a cheque for £285m, fill your boots

The BBC has tossed £285m of licence fee payers' cash at a beefy tech services deal with integrator Atos after the planned rollout of a brand new tower framework to house multiple suppliers hit the buffers. The existing Technology Framework Contract (TFC), also with Atos, is set to expire March next year. It covers telephony, …
Paul Kunert, 18 Feb 2014
BBC logo 2012

'Silent' staff stood by as £100m BBC IT project tanked – DG

The BBC's new director general Tony Hall says staff should have spoken up about the catastrophic Digital Media Initiative (DMI). The utopian media storage project cost the BBC almost £100m since 2010 (and some £81m before then) before it was formally abandoned in May, with the corporation opting to use off-the-shelf software …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Aug 2013
BT street cabinet

Sky asks Ofcom to unlock BT cabinets

Complaints about the competitive landscape in Britain's broadband model have led Ofcom to announce a review which may include enforcing unbundled fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) access. Coming hard on the heels of a UK National Audit Office report that savaged the country's behind-schedule (particularly in rural areas) broadband …

Hold on a mo: Brits blow £56m a year on the blower to gov minions

British callers spent £56m last year on calling costly 084-prefixed numbers for government departments, the National Audit Office has said. The public spending watchdog released a report today that showed that Blighty's government departments were still using higher rate phone numbers, particularly in the Department of Work and …
The Register breaking news

Two more counties to get gov-funded bumpkin broadband from... guess?

BT won two more government-subsidised contracts to rollout rural broadband on Monday when it scooped up deals in Oxfordshire and Worcestershire. The telco giant will spend £11m in Oxfordshire installing fibre-to-the-cabinet technology; the local council will cough up £10m and a further £4m will come from the state. The work will …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Universal Credit CRUNCHED: Dole handouts IT system to be rebuilt

The man brought in to steer the government's crisis-hit one-dole-to-rule-them-all IT system has admitted that the Department for Work and Pension's Universal Credit project has been poorly managed and needs to be completely overhauled. Howard Shiplee was hired by Work and Pensions Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith in May this …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Sep 2013

Watchdog warns UK.gov not to create 'them and us' digital divide

The National Audit Office has warned that the British government's fixation with its digital-by-default agenda could create a "them and us" mentality that excludes more vulnerable members of society who don't access the internet. In a report entitled Digital Britain 2: Putting users at the heart of government’s digital services …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Rubbish IT means DEATH for UK Border Agency, announces May

The UK Border Agency's hopeless IT systems are among the reasons why the Home Secretary Theresa May, in an unscheduled statement to MPs yesterday afternoon, confirmed that the UKBA will be axed. She told the House of Commons that the agency would be replaced with two entities: an immigration and visa service and a separate law …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Mar 2013

Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

The UK's spending watchdog has scolded the Department for Work and Pensions for so far wasting £34m of taxpayer money on its botched attempt to implement a one-dole-to-rule-them-all IT system. In a stinging rebuke of the government's handling of Universal Credit, the National Audit Office concluded that the DWP, which is led by …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Sep 2013
Houses of Parliament in night-time

'End the commercial-in-confidence CROOKS' CHARTER', gov told

Secrecy in public sector contracts must be removed if government is to ever put an end to freeloading by suppliers at the taxpayers' expense, parliamentarians have been told. A Public Administration Committee probe into government procurement heard this suggestion yesterday, as the top bods within the Cabinet Office were quizzed …
Paul Kunert, 26 Mar 2013

Universal Credit: £40 MILLION and counting's been spaffed up the wall on useless IT gear

The chaotic IT implementation of the one-dole-to-rule-them-all benefits system will lead to millions of pounds of taxpayers' money being wasted, secretary of state for work and pensions Iain Duncan Smith admitted to MPs. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP confirmed to Parliament's Work and Pensions select committee …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Dec 2013
The Register breaking news

A woman in IT is like a dog who speaks: Rare. A woman in IT security?

Women are shunning cyber security even more than they shun the rest of IT, according to a survey. Of the 2,500 people who took cyber security training at QA in 2012, just 6.2 per cent were women. The number of women choosing to take up security courses also declined overall by 19.5 per cent between 2011 and 2012, while the …
Jasper Hamill, 06 Jun 2013
Sea King lifts horse from mud. Pic: RAF

Spending watchdog SAVAGES rural broadband push

The government's crashingly expensive rural broadband deployment project has failed to demonstrate that it represents value for money to Britain's taxpayers, the National Audit Office concluded today in a scathing report. Just last week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is steering the Broadband Delivery UK ( …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

New UK immigration IT system late and £28m OVER BUDGET

A £385m computer system being built for the UK's Border Agency and Border Force to process immigrants' paperwork is a year behind schedule and £28m over budget. That's according to the National Audit Office (NAO), which today published findings from a study it undertook in March into the stumbling IT project. The NAO said border …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Audit bodies should merge, report says

A think tank has urged the government to merge the Audit Commission and National Audit Office (NAO). A new report from the New Local Government Network (NLGN), Expecting more from Inspectors?, calls on the government to create a super audit agency under the banner of Audit UK. It says this would provide cashable savings of about …
Kablenet, 29 Nov 2007
BBC logo 2012

BBC lied to Parliament about doomed £100m IT monster, thunder MPs

The BBC lied to Parliament by giving MPs and auditors glowing progress reports on a £100m computer project that embarrassingly flopped, it is claimed. The project in question, the "strategic" Digital Media Initiative (DMI), has now been abandoned at a cost of at least nine figures; a rapid decision by the new BBC Director- …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2013