What an amazing piece of evidence Jack Straw, the Secretary of State for Justice, gave to the Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee last week. He said,
"In all the departments that I have worked in so many of these [IT] schemes end up over budget and over time and are not quite up to spec.... It is very frustrating that so many people, including the private sector, are taken in by snake oil salesmen from IT contractors who are not necessarily very competent and make a lot of money out of these things. I am pretty intolerant of this."A startling display of honesty from Straw don't you think? He's basically just acknowledged that the Government regularly get taken in by consultants who sell them crap, produce crap, and charge them highly for the crap.
Question Secretary of State. If you're so intolerant of it, why does the Government keep giving out tenders to the same companies if they're nothing but con artists? It couldn't possibly be because some of them donate oodles of cash to the Labour Party or because so many of the projects are PFI so can be hidden of the balance books? Could it?
Amazingly, as he continued to give evidence to the Committtee he also accepted Lib Dem MP David Howarth's criticism that "the in-house team is not expert enough to judge what is being said to them and that is how these things go wrong" saying "It is a real problem". In other words, they not only get fleeced by IT consultants but their own IT staff are cluevoid too. Joy!
Hat Tip: Croydonian for mentioning this to me