Aspire: “case study” of bad government IT

The high-profile Aspire contract between HMRC and Capgemini is “a case study of what is wrong with the present procurement culture” in the UK public sector, according to a report from the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC).

The Committee’s evaluation of the 13-year contract formed part of the wider “Government and IT – A recipe for rip-offs: Time for a new approach” report, recently published by the committee.

PASC’s report into government IT procurement cites the National Audit Office’s landscape review, which revealed 80% of central government IT work is undertaken by 18 suppliers, and that some of the contracts were not only “extreme large” but also extended over “a long period of time”.

HMRC and Capgemini’s Aspire contract is highlighted as one such contract by the report, describing it as: “A case study of what is wrong with the present procurement culture. Such a large contract is too complex to manage. The assessment of costs and benefits is opaque and it commits too much power and money to a single supplier.”

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Comments

Bad Government IT

louisVW4 | | Permalink

Another example is the DWP, where those responsible for deciding which software should be purchased went against the advice of every supplier except the successful software vendor, and then asked for someone to implement it, knowing full well that it wasn't fit for purpose.

The supplier that won the implementation contract (not Capgemini by the way!) subsequently took many, many £millions in fees, before eventually abandoning the project, without blame, because they were one of the suppliers who said it wouldn't work!