Sometimes I wonder just what goes on in the minds of Ministers

  Forum Editor 19:04 19 Aug 2014
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I've been hearing about how we (taxpayers) must fork out at least £220 million to a US IT company because our government acted wrongly when it terminated a badly-managed Border agency IT project.

The project was to make us more secure by monitoring every person who enters or leaves the country, and compares the names of travelers to international databases of known terrorists and other undesirables. Inbound travelers would be checked at their point of departure, and would not be allowed to travel if we didn't want them here. All modes of travel would be monitored, including Euro-star trains.

Called e-borders, it's a good system, except that we don't have it. The idea was initiated by the last Labour government; the contract was signed in 2007, and by 2010 when the current government arrived it was already a complete mess, and at least a year behind schedule. Theresa May, acting on the advice of Civil Service experts decided to cancel the contract, and Raytheon (the US IT company) went to an arbitration tribunal which made the award mentioned above.

The person responsible for managing the project on behalf of the Border Agency was a certain Lin Homer, who is shortly going to be grilled by the Home Affairs select committee over her handling of the IT fiasco and 'other matters' relating to her time as head of the Border Agency. Keith Vaz is quoted as saying that "We will want to hear further from Lin Homer, the then head of the UKBA, as to why she sanctioned such a defective agreement."

Quite. I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say about this as well, seeing as how I've chipped in some of the £250 million we have already spent on the project - money that is now down the drain.

I would also quite like to know why the said Lin Homer has since been promoted to become head of HMRC.

You couldn't make it up.

  BillSers 08:39 20 Aug 2014

**I would also quite like to know why the said Lin Homer has since been promoted to become head of HMRC. You couldn't make it up.**

I think you'll find history has a terrible habit of repeating itself. Usually when someone in a position of power makes an almighty cock-up they get promoted. Take Cressida Dick for example.

  Al94 08:39 20 Aug 2014

There seems to be a common thread running through Lin Homer's career but it's never her fault click here

  BillSers 08:40 20 Aug 2014

Sometimes the bold works and sometimes not.

  spuds 10:20 20 Aug 2014

"Called e-borders, it's a good system, except that we don't have it. The idea was initiated by the last Labour government; the contract was signed in 2007, and by 2010 when the current government arrived it was already a complete mess"

That's probably one of the best understatements of many. This is politics that's being talked about.

This type of event isn't unique by any means, and I wonder why the Forum Editor chose to post this article?.

At about the same time the contracts were being signed, so was contracts for the extensions of prison's and secure units, so accommodate for the increase of criminal's requiring custodial sentences. £millions were lost on those contracts, that were cancelled after commencement, yet very little seems to have been said about that?.

The Forum Editor also stated "I would also quite like to know why the said Lin Homer has since been promoted to become head of HMRC".

But why should this woman be singled out, because it doesn't take much to see this is happening all the time. The BBC, Quality Care Commission, Financial Institutes, even our so called Watchdogs. The lists are endless. We might even mention ATOS, and see some of the damage caused there (that was another contract that went sadly wrong)!.

  spuds 10:32 20 Aug 2014

"There could be compromises which could save money but the problems lies so often with those who write the requirements and seek the dream world cheaply."

Surely when tenders or contracts are discussed or signed, then all parties have a say on the matter?.

How many local council's have brought in new IT technology, yet found those selected to do the work were not competent enough to complete the work they had undertaken and promised. My own local council suffered more than one such fate, that cost £millions to correct, because the original candidate's went bust, when things were not turning out right.

  johndrew 10:33 20 Aug 2014

I would also quite like to know why the said Lin Homer has since been promoted to become head of HMRC.

Surely you have heard of the Peter Principle; once at that level promotions are simply a daily event up to retirement!!

  spuds 10:42 20 Aug 2014

johndrew

The Peter Principle is a good example, but my father who was an employer, use to say. Promote someone to a position that they cannot forefill, then it make things far easier to get rid of them?.

But that doesn't seem to happen nowadays, and I think there are many examples of that, were poor management is to blame, yet those in that position do not see it, due to pure arrogance!.

  spuds 10:47 20 Aug 2014

Is this correct - 10444 views 33 answers?.

  namtas 10:48 20 Aug 2014

Surely when tenders or contracts are discussed or signed, then all parties have a say on the matter?. Sorry but no they are not, or at least were not. A strict condition of tendering within the Civil Service was propriety of information and no deviation from the tender document was allowed. A discussion with a contractor even to answer a query would construe that that contractor had gained an advantage in tendering.

  spuds 11:12 20 Aug 2014

"A discussion with a contractor even to answer a query would construe that that contractor had gained an advantage in tendering."

Which is correct, but how many companies, involve other companies when tendering, and that might include a competitor?.

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