Thursday, January 29, 2009

MoD says installing a single computer is an ICT project

Have just been looking through Hansard and I spy Quentin Davies is talking absolute complete bollocks in response to a pretty ordinary question. He was asked what ICT projects the Ministry of Defence and its agenc ies were currently carrying out and started his response by saying,
An ICT project can vary from installing single computers and software licences to major programmes, such as the Defence Information Infrastructure.
Yes that's right, the MoD apparently consider plugging in a single computer to be a "project" - presumably with a project manager attached to draw up a gantt chart of each step involved for each individual cable.

I bet you can't guess what comes next now that Davies has set up his neat little pile of poo to start with can you? Yes, that's right,

Details of all the ICT projects being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and each of its agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
If ever there was an example of a Minister deliberately finding a completely crap reason not to answer a question then this is it.


Letters From A Tory said...

If the Ministry of Defence doesn't know how many computers they've installed, who does?

Perhaps they just don't want to add up the number of computers they own because they'll notice that hundreds more of them have been stolen.

Alex said...


The Russians or Chinese.

Sa said...

I think when the next Census comes in, I'll just scrawl "This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost" across the front. If it's good enough for them...

Sam Duncan said...

Damn. I've just posted without my name again.

Conand said...

Dizzy, I think you're being slightly unfair.
Let me preface my remarks by admitting that Quentin Davies is an appalling excuse for a human being.
I do however think that one military computer may well be a complicated IT project in it's own right.
Emulating and testing the software in missiles/integrated ship defense systems etc etc. I have some passing aquaintance with this as my father used to run projects of this kind and others.
As to the cost an practicality of obtaining info about these projects it is worth pointing out that they may be stamped with the words: 'Hey you! This is like really really Secret and stuff, so don't leave it on a train.'

dizzy said...

"I do however think that one military computer may well be a complicated IT project in it's own right." - Which would have obvious records available because of its time.

Read the whole answer, he is quite clear that he is trying to argue that every little thing is considered a project from the smallest to the highest. Its a blatent sleight of hand to avoid answering the question.

Conand said...

OK you got me. He's lazy and incompetent and he's flanneling. My Devil's Advocacy didn't last very long.

Forlornehope said...

Well yes, putting in an individual computer can count as a project. After all it has to be loaded with the correct software and connected to the network. All these should be on a simple register and should be easily accessible. That is of course if somebody is doing their job.

Chris Paul said...

Damned Tory retreads. They just don't get it do they.

Seriously though. This is a standard form of words / concept of evasion that probably did Asquith proud back in the day.

Bit feeble not providing a link to the question so we can see who asked it and what exactly they asked. Yet managing a link to gantt chart, like we don't know what that is.

Chris Paul said...

October 2008? Mmmm. Mr Hoban will presumably have gone back and asked for details of projects over £5,000 or £20,000 or whatever he is really interested in. Splatting stupid questions every now and then seems reasonable enough and the MoD ministerial team are in fact answering nearly all questions received with substantive answers.