Tory programming 1/000th as bad as Labour’s

The health minister in the Lords, Lord Bethell, has revealed the failed NHSX COVID-tracing app has cost the taxpayer £11.8 million.

That’s only one thousandth the amount Blair et al pissed away on just the one NHS contract.

33 thoughts on “Tory programming 1/000th as bad as Labour’s”

  1. Agreed Tim–but Jellyballs Johnson has–by stupidity and moral cowardice–set us up for far worse than even that cunt Bliar managed.

    Even if Johnson was dumb enough to believe Pantsdown/SAGE’s cockrot–he now has evidence enough to know it is a two-bit nothing flu. IMO–he knows that beyond all doubt.

    But he does not have the balls to say “I was mistaken”, dump the fucking death-grip LD and start to undo the damage NOW as best he can.

    He is trying to brass it out REGARDLESS of the ever-accelerating damage done.

    It can only be 6/8 weeks now before the mob of bedwetters finally get that “furlough”=dole-likely for years and the shit will hit the fan. The Jellyballs coward is putting just off that moment at ever greater cost to himself as well as us.

    He only has one last step to a WTO Brexit –but if he realises how fucked he is he might well fuck even that up at the last moment with a shite FTA as he will soon be finished anyway.

  2. JuliaM said:
    “I’m not sure that shouting ‘The other lot are even WORSE!’ is going to cut it for much longer…”

    It’s more “governments are incompetent, no matter which party, let’s have them do less”

  3. The Meissen Bison

    The difference appears to be that people who understand these things (so not the pen-pushers at NHSX) all agreed that the bespoke app was a non-starter from the start. The CEO, Matthew Gould, had been slighted by the big tech companies in his previous job and was determined not to work with the Apple/Google as a salve for his injured pride.

    He ought to be fired, his pension forfeit and of course (on account of the pride) Lions!

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    They spent £11.8 million in 4 months? WTF did they spend it on?

    BoM4 is a better judge, but I’d say no more than half a dozen good programmers, a good project manager and a few good people to organise and implement the trial.

    If heads don’t roll now there’s a good chance they will at the next GE.

  5. “If heads don’t roll now there’s a good chance they will at the next GE.”

    Oh do come along, 007!

  6. @BiND any good programmer, project manager, or organiser would not be working on a government project.

    Something to do with serious incompatibility with the culture inherent in projects like that.. They’d either refuse, or never be considered by HR…

  7. @BiND any good programmer, project manager, or organiser would not be working on a government project.

    Something to do with serious incompatibility with the culture inherent in projects like that.. They’d either refuse, or never be considered by HR…

    Not to mention IR35 in public sector contracts, so anyone who is any good (or had a choice) wouldn’t go near it anyway. That’s presumably why they tried to fuck up private sector contracting this year by implementing it there too.

  8. OT and Nerdy.. But since this subject technically has something to do with modelling, and most of us do have a healthy suspicion of Models..

    Today’s XKCD: https://xkcd.com/2323/

    One image, says it all…

  9. Grikath – Beg to differ. Whatever one may think politically of the furlough scheme, there is no doubt at all that HMRC supported by Cap Gemini designed, tested, built and delivered it flawlessly in under a month – and they are not in normal times a grant giving department. Twenty billion plus has flowed through pretty much perfectly and under good controls. (Any ‘I claimed for this but ordered my staff to do that’ naughtiness is not in their gift to control preventatively – but they will be checking very hard after the fact, so expect prosecutions).

    SOME bits of government can do what it says on the tin. Sunak showed sense and shrewdness by asking HMRC to do this. Imagine if someone like Grayling had been put in charge!

  10. Patrick–and what is the evidence that a shambolic shower of shite like HMRC are doing so well? They handed out money–to the correct people? Maybe but that is easier said than checked. HMRC have fucked up everything else they have touched before so I doubt that that bankers boy Sunak has managed any genius level feats with the bastards.

  11. BiND,

    “BoM4 is a better judge, but I’d say no more than half a dozen good programmers, a good project manager and a few good people to organise and implement the trial.”

    I’ll add in say, 3 testers, a business analyst and a software architect. But if you’re spending more than £200K/month for the whole of that team, you’re definitely getting mugged.

  12. TMB,

    “The difference appears to be that people who understand these things (so not the pen-pushers at NHSX) all agreed that the bespoke app was a non-starter from the start. The CEO, Matthew Gould, had been slighted by the big tech companies in his previous job and was determined not to work with the Apple/Google as a salve for his injured pride.”

    What’s the backstory to that?

    Whether you like Apple or not (and personally, I have all sorts of problems with Apple), you have to deal with reality. They weren’t going to allow this.

  13. Grikath,

    “@BiND any good programmer, project manager, or organiser would not be working on a government project.”

    I actually find things like local authority work really personally rewarding. Apart from it helping people, what they have in some systems is pretty dire, so you can make large improvements.

    The caveat about local authority work is that you have to find the good management. There are some good managers, but also a lot of donkeys who just don’t give a shit. You can spend 3 months on a project that goes nowhere and your total achievement is nothing.

  14. My little specialist software outfit did some sub-contract work for a much bigger (and far less competent) company who were trying to get into government work – having, correctly, surmised that it was a licence to print money. We went with some of their people to a couple of “pre-tender” meetings with HMG, one of which was terribly grand and held at The Foreign Office. It took a matter of seconds from walking through the door to sussing out exactly who was going to get the contract… And it certainly wasn’t going to be us. Everything else was just theatre to cover the collusion.

  15. TMB,

    Well, of course Zuck isn’t going to meet the UK/Israel ambassador. What would be the benefit to that? Seriously, ambassadors are mostly a waste of time, aren’t they?

    “Gould chose to pursue a policy of “Build rather than Buy” against the advice of everyone who did not work for him.”

    This is a catastrophic way of thinking. Experienced people will always give you the opposite advice. If there’s something built, off-the-shelf and it pretty much fits your needs, you should probably buy it. It’s probably going to be cheaper, but also, it’s going to be more reliable because it’s already been through a load of bug fixing for other users.

  16. The Meissen Bison

    BoM4

    My reading was that he had been a diplomat but was then in a new post where he dealt with the big tech firms on behalf of HMG but your point still holds of course.

  17. ‘That’s only one thousandth the amount Blair et al pissed away on just the one NHS contract.’

    Thanks again! [CSC pays Gamecocks pension.]

  18. To be fair Xrays and blood tests are really efficiently handled now after the Gigaquids spent on it all.

    Which bit of the NHS does that useless bint Dido Andaeneas run ?

  19. To be fair Xrays and blood tests are really efficiently handled now after the Gigaquids spent on it all.

    Sarcasm?

  20. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    Well, now we know where all the people that worked on the Obamacare website ended up.

  21. None of the (37? 57?) test and track schemes will work. Too many subjects, too many false positives, infrequent random tests, high proportion of asymptomatic cases, uncertainty regarding virulence, etc. The virus is now out in the wild, spread more or less evenly in the whole world population. It’s too late, and isolation and quarantine don’t work anyway.

  22. Chernyy, no really they are available as soon as processed. Blood tests have a turn around of about an hour and xrays a few minutes.
    Gives the surgeon something to look at while they strap the patient down and stick a bit of leather in his mouth.

  23. I suspect the cost has a whole load of ‘allocations’, shares of infrastructure and other fixed costs maybe and allocation of executive time for attending meetings. One of the rules of govt budgets, if there’s a special fund available charge the crap out of it and reduce your operational spend where you can.

  24. This amount of waste is nugatory compared to the cost of testing. 5 Billion is the NHS estimate.
    It’s legitimate to wonder what this expenditure will achieve, given that there is no agreement on what (including nothing) works as a cure.

  25. Months have passed and I’ve still not seen a clear account of what testing consists of and what the evidence is that supports the claims made for it.

    Occasionally I enquire “how do you test a test?” Answer comes there none.

    Which leaves me sceptical of the “test, test, test” dogma.

  26. A test is a snapshot in time. If you were tested two months ago, that is probably meaningless now. If you get tested tomorrow, how long until you need to be tested again?

    Discussions I hear are always single point. If testing does anything, once a pandemic is not enough.

  27. I’m a grunt in Local Authority tax collection ( property taxes from residents and businesses ) and the whole thing is schite. I would love someone to bring in a LVT collected from the property owner, and none of this bullshit of exemptions, disregards and reliefs, and being told that the tax could be collected using less than a quarter of the resources so feck off, take your 12 weeks redundancy and do something else till you are 67 pal.
    But that isn’t going to happen, but the things that could realistically happen just aren’t at the moment – automated information exchange between the land registry and local authorities does not happen, even data exchanges between signing up for a waste collection or receiving a food hygiene inspection and the business rates department does not happen.

  28. @Mr Ecks

    Spot on. Blair ‘only’ wasted >£12Bn on cancelled NHS IT project

    Panicking Boris already wasted >£60Bn on Furlough alone and £2.4Bn economy hit every LD day

    Still spouting crap too: Cricket dangerous, might catch C-19 from ball – CDC, FDA, WHO said weeks ago “No need to wash mail, shopping etc”

    Yet Boris & Hancock still continuing work on “World Leading” crap app and gold plating Apple&Google app

    @TMB, BiND
    +1 It was destined to fail from day 1 and IT bods around world said so

    imo final nail “It’s anonymised, but £1,000 fine if false data submitted” gold plated with “We’ll store your data for 20 years for future use”

  29. They do ‘test the tests’, which is how they know the current ‘swab’ test has a low false positive rate (if the test says you’ve got Covid, you’ve almost certainly got it), but a 30% false negative rate (if the test says you haven’t got Covid, there’s a 1 in 3 chance you really do have it) How much of this latter is down to the difficulty of carrying out self-administered tests, I don’t know.

    Fortunately, ‘test and trace’ doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. Even if you only pick up 60% of cases, that could be enough to reduce the R-rate from 1.2 to 0.8 (say), which can make a big difference.

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