Articles about Pensions

Dog jumping, image via Shutterstock

Reasons to be cheerful at Insight: Let's start with bring your dog to work

Forget sales commissions, career progression or job satisfaction, Insight Enterprises has another type of employment glue to ensure staff stick around - and it involves dogs. The reseller’s Ministry of Motivation, perhaps better known as HR, has found "four reasons to work" at the reseller and plastered them on a poster to …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
Cheesy pic of man holding face in shame as accusatory finger emerges from display. Photo via Shutterstock

Trial to store benefits claimants' personal data on blockchain slammed

A government experiment to store the information of benefits claimants using blockchain tech has been slammed by experts, who have warned it could expose highly sensitive personal data. London-based fintech company GovCoin Systems has partnered with Barclays, RWE npower and University College London to trial blockchain …
Kat Hall, 12 Jul 2016

Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

Exclusive Every CEO knows it's impossible to be universally liked. But when staff start cutting your brakes, maybe it's time to consider moving on. The president of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, has already been on the receiving end of an official censure from his board, a series of strikes, several highly …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2016

Don't tell the Cabinet Office: HMRC is building its own online ID system

HMRC is pushing ahead with its own plans to build an online authentication portal following the decommissioning of the current Gateway portal in 2018, according to multiple sources. One source said the department is building its own authentication capability that will deal with businesses – something the Government Digital …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016
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Shared services centres supposed to save £128m saved £0... and cost £4m

Moves to shift departments' back office servers and ERP systems into two privately owned shared services centres - which had been touted as set to save the taxpayer £128m - have failed to prove "value for money", according to a report by the National Audit Office. The shared services centres, run separately by IT provider …
Kat Hall, 20 May 2016
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise hiring temps to cover for redundancies - sources

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is hiring temps to cover gaps caused by the exit of hundreds of techies it recently axed, some of whom provided services to clients including the Department for Work and Pensions. This is according to multiple insiders, who told us the picture might have been worse had HPE not halted some of the job …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
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Gov to pull plug on online ID verification portal Gateway in 2018

A date has been set to formally decommission the government's online identity Gateway portal by 2018 - a move that raises serious questions as to whether the Verify replacement will provide a fit for purpose alternative. The deal to pull the plug on Gateway - which is most importantly used for self-assessment tax users - has …
Kat Hall, 13 May 2016
Northern Ireland nature scene. Photo by Shutterstock.com

Ireland handed another $100m by Silicon Valley for startups' handout

The mad money bags at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) have announced they will be throwing an additional $100m at Ireland's Strategic Investment Fund, doubling the bank's involvement in the nation's tech sector. SVB pledged its first $100m, to be paid over a five year period, back in 2012. While not notably different from most …
whitehall road in London. <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-637816p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Albert Pego</a> / <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/editorial?cr=00&pl=edit-00">Shutterstock.com</a>

Central gov spent £6.3bn on IT. Nearly half handed to just 3 suppliers

Central government splashed £6.3bn with IT suppliers for the year 2014/15 – with 42 per cent going to just three suppliers, according to government data shared with The Register. Sixty-five per cent of the total figure was hoovered up by 10 suppliers, with HP coming top at £1.2bn, followed by Capgemini at £861m, and BT at £ …
Kat Hall, 29 Apr 2016

Can you hear me now – over the picket line? Verizon workers strike

The workers who handle Verizon's wireline services in the Eastern US have gone on strike. At 6:00am local time Wednesday morning, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said that members in districts ranging from Maryland and Delaware up through New York and New England were officially on strike barring failed …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Apr 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit at high risk of cyber-attack, fraud from the outset

Documents released after a four-year legal battle reveal the extent of the UK government's blithe disregard for the risks faced by Universal Credit. This week, internal reviews of the enormous project in 2011 and 2012 were published by the Department of Work and Pensions under Freedom of Information laws. The dossiers reveal …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2016
South Park's Underpants Gnomes

GDS has no real strategy for £450m budget pot, internal plan reveals

Exclusive Concerns are mounting that the Government Digital Service has no real plan for spending its £450m budget - following a leaked strategy document obtained by The Register. In November GDS was awarded the additional funding in the Spending Review to digitally transform Whitehall over this Parliament. Its previous annual budget …
Kat Hall, 08 Apr 2016
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Cloudera's valuation slashed by Fidelity amid IPO fail fears

Cloudera's estimated valuation was slashed 38 per cent by major capital player Fidelity Investments, reports have said, as Wall Street grows very cool on unicorn public offerings. Fidelity aired its concerns about a potential "startup bubble" by marking down its assessment of privately held Cloudera, monthly holding reports …
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

Universal credit, the proposed one online benefits system to rule them all, has always been Iain Duncan Smith's brainchild – but with his shock departure from the Department for Work and Pensions, will the government finally put a bullet in the troubled project? Announced with great fanfare in 2011, the programme intended to …
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Judge orders Universal Credit internal reviews must be disclosed

Analysis The jury is still out as to whether Britain's Universal Credit will go down as one of the major IT disasters of our time. This is mainly because the UK Department for Work and Pensions tore up the original project, started again and then moved the completion date multiple times. The total lifetime cost of the project has …
Kat Hall, 16 Mar 2016

Staffers in charge of HPE's UK IT outsourcing face redundo in April

Around a quarter of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s current IT Outsourcing staff are expected to be made redundant at end of next month, according to company insiders. As we exclusively revealed on Friday, 780 ITO workers are among 1,000 heads in the UK Enterprise Services division that were told their jobs are at risk. Sources …
Paul Kunert, 10 Mar 2016
Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe. Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock

Buying gov.UK kit via price-comparison digital portal could 'save £10bn'

The government could save up to £10bn per year if it were to create an "Amazon-like" procurement portal for all its purchases, similar to the underused G-Cloud, according to a think tank report. Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe.Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock Er, ID Smith? Your server arrived! Upside …
Kat Hall, 07 Mar 2016

HP Enterprise Services readies deeper cuts in UK: Now 1,000 techies face axe

Exclusive HPE is planning to axe roughly 1,000 Enterprise Services techies in the UK, The Register has learned today. The bulk of the cuts will hit the Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing (ITO) wing: as many as 780 people in that division are now at risk of losing their jobs. Staff in the UK were sent an "internal use only" memo on …
Chris Williams, 04 Mar 2016

Trade union threatens work-to-rule action over HPE Lancashire job cuts

The Public and Commercial Services trade union has - as expected - opened a ballot calling for work-to-rule action over HPE's plans to axe 166 jobs in Lancashire. Staff at HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham who work on public sector contracts, including business for the Department of Work and Pensions, were put at …
Kat Hall, 18 Feb 2016

PCS: We'll ballot Hewlett Packard Enterprise members over job cuts

The Public and Commercial Services union is gearing up to test the appetite for industrial action among services staff at Hewlett Packard Enterprises over the latest round of planned job cuts. Some 166 staff in HPE’s infrastructure outsourcing unit in Lytham that work on public sector contracts including the Department of Work …
Paul Kunert, 03 Feb 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ditching techies at its Lytham site who provide infrastructure services for public sector clients, including the Department for Work & Pensions. According to the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union, HPE has put 166 employees in the infrastructure technology outsourcing business at risk of …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all

Analysis Universal Credit feels like it has been around since time immemorial. If the programme ever arrives, its implementation will have spanned three Parliaments - outlasting the careers of many MPs. The Department for Work and Pensions has consistently maintained that the programme is on track, which may be true if one ignores the …
Kat Hall, 25 Jan 2016

DWP building a separate ID tool as Verify can’t cut it, whisper sources

The Department for Work and Pensions looks to be developing its own version of an online identity tool intended as a way to ensure a secure transaction with government services, according to several sources. The current mechanism for online identification while securing benefits and tax credits is the Government Gateway, which …
Kat Hall, 14 Jan 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Three-years-late fit-to-work IT tool will cost taxpayers £76m

A delayed IT system developed by the Department for Work and Pensions for its controversial benefits assessment contracts has cost the taxpayer £76m due to benefits assessments having to be done manually, according to a report by the National Audit Office. Outsourcers Capita, Maximus and Atos were awarded the deal for …
Kat Hall, 08 Jan 2016
Bletchley Park

Dr Sue Black among handful of IT Brits getting New Year gongs

Updated Former Bletchley Park board member Dr Sue Black is among just a handful of IT folk on the UK's 2016 New Year honours list. Black, an honorary Senior Research Associate in Computer Science at University College London, was made an OBE for "services to technology". She has been a vocal campaigner for the site, having …
Kat Hall, 31 Dec 2015
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Brits learning from the Continent? Authority, digi gov wheezes and the Autumn Statement

Analysis Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne included several uses of technology in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review. As part of a major expansion, the Government Digital Service will develop a common payment system on gov.uk, so that by 2020 citizens will have the option of paying online for every central …
SA Mathieson, 26 Nov 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Freelance IT workers in the UK have expressed concern about claims that the government plans to force contractors onto the payroll of their clients after just one month of service. It was reported over the weekend that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne would crack down on personal service firms during his spending …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2015
CES 2015 crowds brace for bluster

TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Analysis The text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has finally been revealed, after seven years of negotiations and following formal approval last month. The text was first published by the government of New Zealand, but was swiftly followed by the United States government, which has uploaded it across a number of websites and in …
Kieren McCarthy, 06 Nov 2015

Government Gateway online hack claims 'nonsense', say multiple folk in the know

Claims the Government Gateway online identity portal has been "hacked" have been dismissed as "nonsense" by the man originally responsible for the project and by two government information security experts. Earlier this week the Financial Times (behind paywall) reported that “tens of thousands” of Britons’ identities were …
Kat Hall, 29 Oct 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

So, GDS saved Brits £1.7bn through 'digital transformation'. Sure about that?

Analysis Claims that the Government Digital Services saved the taxpayer £1.7bn during the last Parliament through "digital transformation" have been repeated so frequently of late, it seems the figure will go down as the main business case for the body's existence over the last Parliament. This is particularly true with the exodus of …
Kat Hall, 16 Oct 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

Worstall @ the Weekend So, to set the scene: a couple of weeks ago, when writing in another place, I commented upon a piece in the New York Times. It seems that researchers have shown that we use a certain part of our brain when thinking about valuations of things which we normally think about the valuations of; things that we value and purchase in …
Tim Worstall, 13 Sep 2015
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Whitehall IT running costs creep up again to £4.6bn

Despite government plans to cut expensive contracts, IT running costs across Whitehall crept up by 7 per cent year-on-year to £4.6bn in 2014/15, according to a spend analysis by The Register. The findings are based on official government figures from eight of the largest Whitehall departments. The Ministry of Defence – which …
Kat Hall, 20 Aug 2015
Walkie Talkie photo: Malcolm Chapman/Shutterstock.com

RSA chief uncans insurance giant's mega IT infrastructure review

Interview Zurich Insurance, Europe’s third-largest insurer with $70bn in revenue and 55,000 staff, hinted last week that it might buy RSA Group. Yet six major acts of M&A have saddled RSA with 15 data centres, managed and run differently and propping up a creaking architecture. Worth £4.5bn and with 19,000 staff and 20 million customers …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Aug 2015
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Informatica goes private – with Microsoft and Salesforce each taking a share

Data management outfit Informatica became a private company on Thursday, in a multibillion-dollar leveraged buyout that included investment from Microsoft and Salesforce.com's venture wing. Investors received $48.75 in cash for each share of Informatica, which previously had traded on the Nasdaq exchange. The total value of …
Neil McAllister, 07 Aug 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

The British Government closed a window of opportunity for tax-efficient folk about a year ago that was beneficial to, and widely used by, contractors: the Employee Beneficiary Trust. Only now, though, has HMRC begun chasing those who had employed this shelter. A demand for money on income generated five years ago dropped …
Team Register, 30 Jul 2015
Champagne Not Included

Capita cracks open the bubbly after 10 per cent sales jump

This year's huge Capita spending spree boosted the company's sales by 10 per cent to £2.28bn, according to the outsourcing giant's first-half results for 2015. During that period, the outsourcer splashed a total of £279m on 11 businesses, most recently snapping up Scottish business intel outfit Barrachd. Profits before tax …
Kat Hall, 29 Jul 2015

UK's Crown Commercial Service creams off £72m from frameworks

Government procurement body Crown Commercial Services had a bumper year in 2014/15, increasing its slice of commission and fees from government frameworks by 50 per cent to a cool £72m. During that period the body doubled its staff costs to £44.4m, increased full-time headcount from 430 to 674, and ran a surplus of £2m, which …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Are you a Tory-voting IT contractor? Congrats! Osborne is hiking your taxes

Benefits recipients, “non-doms” (those living in Britain treated as foreigners for tax purposes), banks, and landlords weren't the only losers in George Osborne's recent budget. Although they weren’t explicitly mentioned, the chancellor put many contractors, including those working in IT, on his hit list by changing the …
SA Mathieson, 21 Jul 2015
The Shining - blood cascade

Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

The number of Home Office IT staff has been slashed by one third, following the latest round of redundancies at the department, The Register can reveal. Currently the department has an 800-strong IT team, following its recent laying off of 107 staff. However, multiple sources have confirmed this is just the latest in a round …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2015
First Tory-only budget in 19 years. Pic credit: Parliament TV screengrab

Osbo PRINTS first Tory budget in 19 years with his BARE HANDS

Summer Budget 2015 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered the first full fat Tory budget statement in 19 years today by shedding billions of pounds from Blighty's welfare system. During his statement to the House of Commons, Osbo praised Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith's "herculean efforts" with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jul 2015
Unicorn. Detail from Domenico Zampieri fresco in Rome

Tech bubble? Pah. IPOs just return cash to early-stage investors

Worstall on Wednesday A internal presentation from Andreessen Horowitz aimed at its limited partners, that has to be taken with the appropriate shovelful of salt, has emerged – and the insights it reveals into the “tech bubble” are absolutely fascinating. U.S. Technology Funding -- What's Going On? from a16z Take it with a shovelful of salt …
Tim Worstall, 08 Jul 2015
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Unions call for strike action over 'unusable' Universal Credit IT

Trade union members have voted to strike over the deeply troubled Universal Credit IT project, citing an "increasingly oppressive working environment" and "unusable systems". Despite the project having been “re-set” and a new digital system introduced, a spokesman from the PCS trade union said that the systems are still not up …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2015
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Universal Credit white elephant needs 'urgent breakthrough' says MP

Acting shadow work and pensions secretary Stephen Timms MP (Labour) has warned that a "significant breakthrough" is now urgently required for the severely delayed and over-budget Universal Credit system, otherwise it may be time to scrap the project. To many the programme is increasingly resembling a white elephant, with the …
Kat Hall, 30 Jun 2015
Electronic waste dump in China

UK.gov spaffed billions into IT projects at 'high risk of failure' last year

The British government blew £2.5bn on a number of IT projects flagged at high risk of failure in 2014/15, a Register analysis of the Major Project Authority annual report into big government programmes can reveal. The lifetime cost of all those IT projects is almost £36bn. The annual report on the status of 188 big projects said …
Kat Hall, 26 Jun 2015
Royal coat of arms on a court building. Pic: Elliott Brown

Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

British government snoops claimed it was too much hassle for them to use intercepted communications data in court proceedings because the accused could use the info to prove their innocence, it has emerged. Police officers, spies and local council bin inspectors were all asked for their views of Blighty's surveillance laws as …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jun 2015
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HP coughs up $100 MEEELLION to settle Autonomy lawsuit

HP has coughed up $100m (£65m) to settle its legal dispute with a Dutch pension fund over its massive $8.8bn (£5.6bn) Autonomy write-down. HP confirmed today that it has entered into a settlement agreement with PGGM Vermogensbeheer, the lead plaintiff in the securities class action arising from the impairment charge taken by HP …
Kat Hall, 09 Jun 2015
Whitehall road sign. Sgt Tom Robinson RLC/Crown copyright

'Whitehall must address creaking IT', says ex CIO big wig

Whitehall IT chiefs are not doing enough to address the UK government's creaking IT legacy systems, some of which are 30 years old, former government CIO Andy Nelson has warned. Speaking to El Reg, he said this problem is not currently seen as a business priority. Nelson was previously government CIO until the role was axed in …
Kat Hall, 05 Jun 2015
Photograph by Mr Hicks64, Creative Commons, Commercial Use allowed (https://flic.kr/p/grR7Fw)

Hackers target Japan’s legion of pensioners, stealing wads of data

Approximately 1.25 million of Japan's elderly citizens have had their sensitive personal data stolen after an emailed virus took root in the Japan Pension Service's staff computers. The data includes combinations of names, identification numbers, birth dates and addresses Reuters reports that the data spaff was admitted by …

SME IT contracts? That's the last thing Whitehall wants – report

Government departments are unenthusiastic about funneling more of their IT biz through SMEs, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 central government IT bods. Only 20 per cent said there is an appetite within their department to procure a higher percentage of technology services from SMEs, found the research from IT trade body …
Kat Hall, 27 May 2015

The BIG stretch: Software and flexing your firm's size

A mathematician (a Fields Medal winner, so a real one) once asked an economist whether there was anything in economics that was non-obvious and non-trivial. Well, the answer that came back was: "It's all obvious or trivial except Ricardo on comparative advantage." So, once explained, this analogy is both obvious and trivial, …
Tim Worstall, 11 May 2015