Wednesday, February 11, 2009

DWP admits to wasting money but still calls it investment?

Now here's a marvellous example of Government wasting money on IT projects and for once, actually admitting to it. In 2004, the Department of Work and Pension embarked on a project called the Benefits Processing Replacement Programme and the contractor for the project was IBM.

In 2006-07 the project was abandoned having cost the taxpayer £143 million. Now here's the amusing thing, according to the DWP Minister, Jonathan Shaw,
Of the total investment in BPRP, £73 million of the £143 million has been of continuing value to the Department. This is detailed in the Jobcentre Plus 2006-07 annual accounts.
In other words, £70 million of the money spent has not been of any continuing value, i.e. almost 50% of the amount spent was completely wasted.

Note also the way the whole sum is called "investment"? This is the classic New Labour redefinition of a word in practice. Investment actually means the use of money or capital in order to gain an appreciative value of some sort.

Here, the DWP is admitting that £70 million of the total spent did not provide any appreciative value, but they're still going to use the word investment to define it anyway.

3 comments:

ifabloke said...

The value of investments can go down as well as up, as the Financial Services Authority would have us say. Would that journos asked this as a question to the government every time they announce a new 'investment' in public services.

an ex-apprentice said...

"In other words, £70 million of the money spent has not been of any continuing value, i.e. almost 50% of the amount spent was completely wasted."

Yes, but the other £73 million was only "of continuing value" as an object lesson in how not to run a IT project in such an utterly fuckwitted manner.

Of course, in government such lessons have a short shelf life - like about 5 fucking minutes.

Conand said...

We're so lucky that there isn't a massive recession, when the DWP will need every penny they can get. Oh hang on...Oh bugger..