Project branded as “A master class of misadministration”

There have been many articles in the press and on TV and radio complaining about the Single Payment Scheme which has culminated in a damning report by National Audit Office (NAO).

The report published has hit the headlines here in the UK for another poorly delivered project and suggests that:

“The implementation of the single payment scheme encountered difficulties that could result in the European Commission imposing a sizeable penalty.” In addition, the main complaint from UK farmers has been they have had to wait inordinately long times to receive payments. “The difficulties in making payments have caused distress to a significant minority of farmers and undermined the farming industry’s confidence in the Agency” suggested the report.

Switch now to the Editorial in Computer Weekly who commented on the report:

“Nothing changes. When a department gets covered with opprobrium by an NAO report, the relevant minister goes on BBC’s Today programme with what could be a yellowing script.

The routine is to disparage, in measured tones, the NAO’s figures, and then say that good progress is has been made, ideally topped with a generous helping of statistics.
MPs, the media and the public are left with no inkling that parts of the department are in administrative anarchy.

It’s not surprising then that the NAO’s Director Philip Gibby expressed his frustration, at a press conference last week, at having to revisit the Single Payment Scheme in a third report. Each time he is assured that progress is being made.

So can we trust the government’s assurances about the IT? Can we trust the government’s assurances on the state of any big IT-based project or programme?

We believe that government IT failures keep happening largely because they operate in a sunshine-and-roses universe in which truth and reality are poisons nobody goes anywhere near. Not departments. Not their agencies. And not their ministers. Thank goodness then for the NAO.”

There are some incredibly strong words in the Computer Weekly Editorial about a UK Government project :

“….failures keep happening largely because they operate in a sunshine-and-roses universe in which truth and reality are poisons nobody goes anywhere near…

It left me wondering whether your company operates in an area where truth and reality are places where people openly go. How much effort and energy is put into creating truth and reality or is it simply an area where few people go?

The full NAO Report can be found here

 

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