Gary Flood

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The Scandal Of The £700m You're Paying A Supplier For Doing No Work

Jul 29, 2014

What to make of the genuinely astonishing story we published this week that suggests the government will end up paying basically all of the fee it thought it had escaped coughing up for service it deemed inadequate from a supplier.

That supplier is Fujitsu, which seems to be about to trouser the money it would have made off a National Programme for IT contract… without doing any of the work.

To say this is bad is like saying World War I was a bit of a shame and it’s sort of sad that European civilisation was ended needlessly.

As in, chronic understatement.

Those of us with long memories will remember that Fujitsu was cast out of NPfIT in 2008 for the same reasons that could have been extended to other suppliers to the thing (naming no names).

Those same suppliers also seem to have been paid all they were going to get too… also, for doing no work, it might be argued. Or at least, delivering very little that worked.

What the Hell happened here?

Some of us (again, the ones with the long memories) will be thinking about a certain Richard Granger.

Mr Granger was headhunted by New Labour after a solid stint as a management consultant. That’s, allegedly, after he flunked out of his computer science studies and transferred to Geography instead, but never mind.

Granger set up the NPfIT’s supplier management side.

To say he did it poorly is – well, see the WWI analogy above.

But let’s be honest – Granger left the scene a long time since (he is rumoured to be working in Australia).

Are we confident that vendor management in central government has got any better since?

Do you feel sure that your money is being wisely used when it comes to ICT procurement?

How do you feel about seven hundred million pounds possibly being given to a supplier with better lawyers than Whitehall seems to be able to afford at a time when the NHS is billions of pounds short of working properly?

When we set up, we said we wouldn’t focus on the negative.

But with this one, we really do have to call a spade a spade.

It’s a disaster.

It’s not even a proper old-fashioned IT one… as they never really wrote any code that failed!

Just a disaster then.

What do you think?

Tell me –!


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