Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Children's Database: a Small Time Waste of Cash

From the Spectator review of the book "Plundering the Public Sector" by Craig David and Richard Brooks:

"To list just a handful of the disasters cited in this book: the new system for magistrates courts is £200 million over budget and massively behind schedule; GCHQ is £400 million over the original "£21 million budget; benefit cards were scrapped after £698 million had been wasted.

"There is chaos everywhere, from Customs and Excise to the Child Support Agency, from the inland Revenue to the Department of work and Pensions. During Prime Minister's Questions last month Tony Blair was invited to cite 'any major Government IT project that had been delivered on budget or on time.' He came up with the passport system. The fact that this was the best example the Prime Minister could find shows the awesome scale of the problem. The passport system was neither on time nor on budget. In fact it was scandalously delayed - with massive backlogs during the summer of 1999 - and well over budget. It was, however, nowhere near as bad as the calamitous new 'connecting for health' IT system for the health service. It now looks likely that the entire scheme, budgeted at a staggering £30 billion and rising, may turn out to be useless."

Lack of accountability and conflicts of interests of those who are meant to scrutinize the system are partly the cause of this scandalous situation. It shouldn't be left to disgusted of Tunbridge Wells to be kicking up a stink about this. We should all be furious.


Jax said...

I *am* furious, but I don't quite know how to get that across.

David said...

Politics can make for such odd bedfellows...

Scandalous. Do you take Private Eye? This stuff is in there fortnight in, fortnight out.

Has anyone thought of taking this up with the private companies involved? Perhaps appealing to their sense of morality? Or taking them on ALF style. Either way.

On a related note, I'm still unclear as to what ID I'd need to get an ID card.

Carlotta said...

Hi Jax,

A possible plan...should there be a mo: to start a blog meme, whereby bloggers encourage other bloggers to voice their objection to this waste of public funds.

There would be a central blog, explaining the problem, with the a petition and indexing all the blogs who object to this waste of public funds. It could also be provide sample letters of objection.

If every blogger managed to encourage 2 friends to blog objection...well, what do you think?


am annoyed with self for not reading Private Eye more often. Shall have to do some back reading by the looks of it.