Articles about Public Spending

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 04, 2014: Pogba of France and Hoewedes of Germany during the World Cup Quarter-finals game between France and Germany in the Estadio Maracana. NO USE IN BRAZIL.

New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget

Reg Standards Bureau Reporting on NHS expenditure today, the BBC's health correspondent Nick Triggle coined The Register's newest unit of measurement: The Pogba (Pg). The NHS is the second biggest area of public spending behind welfare. Last year, the Treasury handed over £118bn to the Department of Health in England - that is enough to buy more …
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

NEVER MIND the B*LLOCKS Osbo peddles, deficits don't really matter

Worstall @ the Weekend What with another budget just coming up, to correct the one that chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne kidded everyone with before the election, it might be time to answer the question of whether deficits really matter? For Osborne is most certainly going to continue shouting that they do and, equally certainly, everyone …
Tim Worstall, 24 May 2015
The mission patch for SpaceX's fifth resupply mission

SpaceX: CATS with FRIKKIN' LASERS to blast off to space station

Pic While the rest of us are taking down the Christmas decorations, the astronauts on the International Space Station are still waiting for their presents – and Elon Musk's SpaceX rocketeers plan to fire them into orbit on Tuesday, weather permitting. This resupply mission will try to haul up some of the cargo that should have …
Iain Thomson, 05 Jan 2015
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Ofcom's new broom Sharon White sweeps into office

Communications watchdog Ofcom confirmed this morning that it has found a replacement for outgoing chief Ed Richards. Sharon White will head up the regulator from late March, on an annual salary of £275,000, after she ends her senior role at the Treasury. White currently serves as Second Permanent Secretary of the Finance …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Dec 2014
Jersey cow

FCC says taxpayer-bankrolled bumpkin broadband must be at least 10Mbps

Good news, hayseeds: the FCC has ruled that rural broadband should be held to the same standard as that of connections in built-up cities and towns. The stateside regulator has issued a new order, which states that in the US countryside, providers must maintain at least a 10Mbit/s downlink speed for subscribers if they want to …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Dec 2014

THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

Crawling from the Wreckage John Watkinson continues his series of essays for El Reg in which he examines failures in society from banking and education to transport and IT. Here, with a critical eye on our economic plight, he looks at the methods employed by those doing the sums and their consequences. Here we are, several years into the aftermath of …
John Watkinson, 21 Sep 2014
Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond debate Scottish independence

Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Scots may vote to leave the United Kingdom, ending a union lasting 307 years, on 18 September. Until a few weeks ago, the referendum on independence looked like an easy win for those wanting to stay in the union - or to use the parlance of the campaign, "no" voters. But a surge in support has put those planning to vote "yes" …
SA Mathieson, 11 Sep 2014

Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

Nearly half of the unionised techies at the UK's Ministry of Justice have voted to strike over proposals that could shift IT service work into the private sector. At the heart of the matter is the Cabinet Office's excitingly titled Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, which was published in March 2013: the strategy's …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2014
security fail

Huawei WILL make a comeback to US market, policy wonk predicts

A senior member of a prestigious US think tank has predicted the US government will eventually cave in and roll out the red carpet to Chinese networking giant Huawei. Darrell West, VP and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, made the call in an analysis of IT globalization and innovation at a conference …
Joe Fay, 17 Jun 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

CEO of bloated outsourcing firm Capita quits after 26 years

Fat cat chief exec Paul Pinder is to quit after 26 years at outsourcing giant Capita to head up small, private equity-backed businesses. The man who, along with other top brass, pocketed a 20 per cent pay hike last year as IT Services staff had their wages frozen and bonuses shelved, is to be replaced by Capita deputy chief exec …
Paul Kunert, 18 Nov 2013

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
By Emilio Labrador - licensed under Creative Commons

MPs slam bumpkin fibre rollout, demand halt to further £250m cash spaff

Whitehall has insisted that its delayed multimillion-pound rural broadband project represents good value for taxpayers - even as a brutal parliamentary report published today attacks the government for failing to rein in BT. MPs on Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Labour politico Margaret Hodge, …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

Ha ha, Osborne, these Gov 2.0 web wranglers have wiped out UK debt

"A digital revolution, masterminded by a team of dress-down civil servants, could save the taxpayer billions," The Times newspaper gushed on Tuesday. And behold: it already has. The UK has apparently paid off its national debt years ahead of Chancellor George Osborne's predictions. Alas, it's no miracle, but an infographics …
Team Register, 31 Jul 2013

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 …
The Register breaking news'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
Lenovo C325 all-in-one desktop PC

Chinese state tightwads help strangle Asia-Pacific PC sales in 2013

Asia-Pacific has well and truly succumbed to the global economic malaise, with the region’s PC market declining 13 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter – its first ever double digit drop, according to IDC. Not even the launch of Windows 8 in China in October and more Intel-powered ultrabooks could stop PC sales sliding to …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Broadband gov subsidy should end in 2015 -Tory think tank

The government's current fixation with pushing for the deployment of faster broadband connections to most of the UK's population by 2015 should not shape its future policy, a leading Tory think tank has argued. Policy Exchange - which published its The Superfast and the Furious report (PDF) this morning - added that, while it …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Jan 2013

'£100m For Sale' sign plonked outside Northgate MS - sources

Northgate Managed Services (NMS) is up for sale and investment banking biz Jefferies International is doing the hawking, claim sources close to the company. "Northgate Managed Services is up for sale, the reality is that the business has been offered to a number of firms," said a person familiar with the matter. It is …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2012

Cisco turns in solid June quarter

Networking giant and server upstart Cisco Systems hit the numbers between the eyes in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 ended in June, growing profits faster than revenues. The company's financial performance, despite intense competition, soft markets in many places around the globe, and skittish CEOs who are not sure how the …
The Register breaking news

SHEEP NEED TWITTER, insist my noble Lords

Analysis A House of Lords committee this week declared that British taxpayers must foot the bill for an internet that nobody wants - unless perhaps they have a second home in the country. You may have caught the highlights of this report yesterday, and some observations are accurate: Britain's broadband is slower than its rivals. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

ICO: Nearly HALF all FOI complaints are about local councils

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received 1,922 freedom of information complaints about local authorities in 2011-12, accounting for 43 per cent of the total number of complaints, according to the watchdog's latest annual report. The document says that of the 4,633 freedom of information complaints during the year, …
The Register breaking news

IP law probe MPs hunt for smoking gun, find plenty of smoke

Analysis There’s an elephant in the room as Parliament’s informal inquiry into intellectual property policy rolls on. In the foreground, there’s the role of the officials who are supposed to support it. In the background, there’s something more troubling. Within the past two years - and without a hint, let alone a fanfare - the UK’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2012

'Special relationship': Oracle bags contract renewal

Database giant Oracle has bagged a renewed contract to supply its technology to Whitehall in a deal that the Cabinet Office claimed would save £75m for taxpayers by 2015. The California multinational is one of the biggest provider's to government, Francis Maude's department said when announcing the agreement this morning. It …
The Register breaking news

Cheap gas is a 'crisis' for Greens, but not for us

Analysis Energy Minister Christopher Huhne has an opinion piece in the The Daily Telegraph today – and it's really an 800-word explanation of why we need a new Energy Minister. The subject of Huhne's essay is new, cheap gas. The article finds the minister on the defensive about shale gas: it's why he's taking his argument into print. …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Scottish FOI watchdog reports 20% boost in appeals

The Scottish Information Commissioner (SICO) received 20 per cent more appeal applications relating to freedom of information (FOI) requests during the first three months of this year than the watchdog received last year. SICO, which is responsible for ensuring Scottish public bodies comply with FOI laws in Scotland, said that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Nov 2011

The Google Review, explained...

Now we know why what was widely called the "Google Review" into intellectual property came to the conclusions it did. And we have it from the horse's mouth: not Google, but Professor Ian Hargreaves and his team at the IPO, who "guided" him. If you recall, a year ago the Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that the Google …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

Concerns were raised during a committee hearing in Parliament yesterday over the government's £12bn plan to rapidly roll out smart energy meters in the UK by 2019. A gap exists in communicating the benefits of smart meters to taxpayers on lower incomes, the House of Commons Public Accounts committee was warned. "Poorer …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Nov 2011

Dell retools for the midmarket

Consumers and governments in the United States and Europe are crimping their spending, but businesses of all sizes are still refreshing their servers, storage, and PCs. As a result, Dell was able to come close to meeting Wall Street's revenue expectations in its second quarter. The company even brought more money to the bottom …
homeless man with sign

CSC's iSoft takeover cleared

The European Commission has cleared CSC's takeover of iSoft - the key NHS supplier. Aussie health provider iSoft has had a chequered past - it was bailed out with £82m of taxpayer cash, removed a co-founder, and is still going through a Financial Services Authority probe which led to four former directors facing criminal …
John Oates, 21 Jun 2011
For Sale sign detail

Budget Day: First dump from Osborne

Budget '11 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told the House of Commons that today's Budget was about reforming the UK economy and helping families deal with rising living costs. He said it marked a move from rescue to recovery. He claimed the changes had already brought stability to the British economy. Osborne said the …
John Oates, 23 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

Osborne promises 'Budget for growth'

Chancellor George Osborne is promising this afternoon's Budget will be a strategy for growth when set against big cuts in public spending, which seem likely to push the UK in the opposite direction. An increase in personal tax allowance, the amount you can earn without paying tax, is widely expected. The Beeb reckons this will …
John Oates, 23 Mar 2011
homeless man with sign

Capita to get fat on govt cuts

Outsourcing giant Capita turned in "robust" results for 2010, despite a challenging business environment and a tightening of the government spending tap. Overall revenues were £1.7bn, up 2 per cent on the year. It reported "underlying profit before tax" of £364.2m, up 12 per cent on the year. This excludes items such as …
Joe Fay, 24 Feb 2011
For Sale sign detail

Coalition rejigs gov procurement to give SMEs an in

The government launched a new website this afternoon for contractors looking to win public sector jobs that cost over £10,000. It's hoped that more small businesses will get involved in the procurement process, said Prime Minister David Cameron. Stephen Allot has been tasked with improving dialogue between Whitehall and …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Feb 2011
The Register breaking news

Australia’s NBN too expensive: EIU

The headlines say all you need to know, surely? As reported all over the place, Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) has been rated as too expensive and relying too much on government support, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Australia cherishes a characteristic called “cultural cringe”. A full explanation …
The Register breaking news

Liverpudlians headbutt Cameron's 'big society'

Liverpool City Council has withdrawn from David Cameron's "big society" - the radical restructuring of the administrative paradigm which was meant to see real people running their own local services. The BBC explains that when he announced Liverpool would be a big society "vanguard" last year, the PM expressed the hope that " …
Lester Haines, 03 Feb 2011
graph up

Coalition failing on UK economy

The Coalition government might be doing a good job of slashing public spending, but it lacks the vision needed to get the UK economy back on track. The criticism comes from outgoing CBI boss Richard Lambert, who used his final speech as boss of the lobby group to lambast the government's failure to outline a path to economic …
John Oates, 25 Jan 2011

Maude: Gov contracts 'made my eyes water'

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said he was shocked by things he found when renegotiating government contracts over the summer. Speaking at the government's Open Data conference on 19 November 2010, he told the audience that in the past departments have signed inefficient deals because senior ministers "have not always …
Kable, 19 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Info Commissioner admits 'It's going to be tough'

Information commissioner Christopher Graham says his organisation has sent out a 'shock wave' to improve FoI compliance. Admittedly the weather forecast is poor, but thunder, lightning and torrential rain accompanies GC's interview with the information commissioner at his Wilmslow offices. "Welcome to the north-west," says …
Kable, 02 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Socitm: IT crucial in coping with cuts

The public sector IT professionals' association (Socitm) has said the sharp cuts in public spending will give IT a stronger role in public services Socitm has released a statement following the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which cut central government funds by an average of 19 per cent and subsidies …
Kable, 22 Oct 2010
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SMEs, tech vendors scrabble for morsels of comfort in CSR

George Osborne left small business lobbyists spluttering today over the lack of an explicit commitment to helping SMEs in the Comprehensive Spending Review. Meanwhile, tech vendors reacted with a flurry of pre-canned statements, mainly claiming that their products and services are just the thing to help hard-pressed public …
Joe Fay, 20 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

Universities warn Willetts on science cuts

Jostling for cash ahead of the coalition government's slash-and-burn, six leading universities have told Science Minister David Willetts that the UK is at risk of losing its best researchers because of real or perceived shortfalls in funding. When Willetts gave evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology …
John Oates, 23 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

BT layoffs boost profits

Layoffs and cost-cutting at BT have boosted BT's first quarter net profits by a third to £284m. However, revenues were four per cent down to £5bn, and CEO Ian Livingston said the firm is in talks with the government about how deep public spending cuts will affect it. He described the results as "an acceptable start to the …

Gartner cuts tech spending forecast

Analyst house Gartner has lowered its prediction for growth in the European technology market, blaming sovereign debt which is likely to push down public sector spending. Gartner was expecting growth of 5.3 per cent for the year - from $3.225 trillion to $3.350 trillion worldwide. It is now predicting more modest growth of 3.9 …
John Oates, 02 Jul 2010
The Register breaking news

Government opens public spending database

The government has broken the seal on its UK public expenditure data by releasing the entire contents of the Treasury’s Combined Online Information System (COINS) that details spending undertaken by the previous administration for the past two years. The information has been published on and contains “detailed” …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2010
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Capita pays £60m for medico screening firm

Services monolith Capita has sucked up medical reporting and screening firm Premier Medical Group in return for £60m. PMG expects to make £6m operating profit on revenues of £51.2m this year, and has around 285 staff. It describes itself as "a leading provider of medical reporting and screening services" which works "on …
Team Register, 01 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

Election promises: Wi-Fi chain gangs and maximum wage

The big three are not the only parties in the coming general election. Here are some highlights the other allegedly sensible parties might have in store for us if elected. First up, the Green Party, which might just steal a seat in the Brighton Pavilion constituency. Their manifesto (pdf), like those of the Lib Dems and Labour …
Jane Fae , 20 Apr 2010
The Register breaking news

Lib Dems demand niceness, ignore technology

The Lib Dems unveiled a manifesto (pdf) this morning that was chock-full of bright ideas and sensible fair thinking, but lacking a unifying theme. The party appears to be pitching for the sort of person who's unhappy about fat cat salaries, rude people in hospitals and is likely to switch vote based on whether night buses stop …
Jane Fae , 14 Apr 2010