Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cheap as chips?

Here's another great website from the Government that just screams big waste of money. It's part of another of the Government's consultation on eco-towns. The site is largely static and simple images and linked with the odd embeddded flash movie and form to provide feedback.


Cost? £76,786. Clearly Reading Room (the designing company) saw them coming.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Worth a look.
http://scottishlabourparty.org/
Wonder how much that one cost?

WORD VERIFICATION: TROLLISH!!

Henry Crun said...

Dizzy, how about you and I form a company to prived IT and web services exclusively to the public sector. We could be well minted.

bogroll said...

I would've put that site together for 3000 fat ones... even then that would have been way too much.. would've taken me a week tops.

But 78,000 thou!! I'll have to go out and grease up these imbeciles.. Wheel out the strobe lamp and watch the monkies sign that little cheque book of ours.

These morons haven't a clue about technology.

just cos you can switch on a computer doesn't mean you should be in charge of the UK's IT program.

Astonishing

Fishpaste said...

Having worked on government website projects several times I think that it's far more likely that the design agency charged that much because they had previous experience of working for government departments or quangos.

They are notorious for changing the brief halfway through a project, suddenly announcing that it needs to be 'golliwog' compliant or the like, or telling you when you've completed it that their boss doesn't like it so it has to be re-designed. You never seem to be able to charge for any of this. Also, you need to take into account that you are inevitably dealing with a complete idiot who knows nothing about their own field and you often end up doing their job for them.

Sounds like a low price to me, considering.

Anonymous said...

The simple shopper strikes again!

What I don't understand is now anyone actually has the cheek to ask for such a figure.

I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face; how do they do it? Years of practice I suppose.

Deadbeat Dad said...

Just look at the sitemap. There's nothing to it.

£76,786?

For fuck's sake. Even at swanky design agency rates, there can't be more than £5-7k's worth here, can there?

@Fishpaste's point is very well-observed, based on my limited experence as a former freelance software developer who once -- one time too many, as far as I was concerned -- tendered for a modest public-sector contract.

Twig said...

76k, no problem, there's plenty more where that came from.

Anne said...

Ah - more than that to eco towns -
http://www.antimetrix.org/2008/10/dtr-funding-tied-to-eco-town-plans.html

DTR funding tied to eco-town plans
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The government is in line to make hundreds of millions of pounds from the sale of excess MoD land as part of its eco-town plans despite the property market bottoming out it has been revealed.

The troubled Defence Training Review (DTR) is to be largely funded through the sale of excess MoD land as certain estates close down in order to move facilities to the new training site in St Athan, Wales. Recent news reports and revelations by armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth indicate that the sale of excess land will continue to be a key part of the funding strategy for the DTR.

Many of these soon to be vacant MoD estates will be part of the government’s plan for eco-towns. The Treasury stands to make at least £275m from the sales of 15 vacant land parcels, nearly half of which will come from the MoD. Some of these including a site at Borden are targeted for closure as part of the DTR.

Ainsworth told MPs that due to the property market crisis, valuation of the site at Borden was "prudent." While it is unclear how much the government and the Metrix consortium will make off the sale, other sites including the Royal Engineers depot at Long Marston have already been valued. Sources indicate that the Treasury could collect £84m from the sale of the depot by itself to eco-town developers.

Critics of the programme have argued that the DTR is being moved ahead despite widespread concerns over its viability and affordability in order to fund eco-towns and give profits to the Treasury and MoD.

Meanwhile the DTR programme, which is already £1bn over budget and has been forced to develop a new business plan, will not come under investigation from the National Audit Office or Comptroller, yet. Since the final financing agreement has not yet been formulated, the DTR has yet to enter the MoD accounts. Therefore the NAO cannot investigate the programme’s affordability and financing according to Ainsworth.

Anonymous said...

Fishpaste? Are you my Brother-in-Law? If not, he told me exactly the same story about his employer's relationship with the Civil Serpents.

Andrew K said...

If you try to leave feedback on the site, you have to tick one of the boxes to say how you would become more "eco-friendly" (tick one box from four) and how you think more housing should be provided (tick one box from three). No ticks = feedback rejected.

Deadbeat Dad said...

Check out Reading Room's client portfolio. A glance through this suggests that at least half their revenue -- and possibly quite a bit more -- is derived from publicly funded sources (government, education, quangos and fake charities). There's nothing especially interesting about any of their work, and some of it is utter dross. Its output is no more distinguished than that of any middle-ranking provincial British web design company, in my opinion.

No wonder Reading Room boasts that it has received 'the ‘One to Watch’ status in the Best Companies to work for guide -- its employees don't have to do much competitively productive work.

There might be some interesting threads to unravel about the personal and political connections underpinning the expansion of this agency, although its success could derive purely from spin and presentation (in keeping with the spirit of our times). Certainly, there isn't much substance to what it does.