Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nothing will come from nothing.....

Most people in the IT world know, or at least have a passing knowledge of something called ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library). It's a framework designed and maintained by the Office of Government Commerce which has some basic concepts in it which help you maintain IT infrastructure. These include, Change Management, Service Management, Incident Management and Asset Management.

Of the last of those an organisation maintains an asset register of all the little bits of equipment it has. From desktop PCs, to laptops, to removable media drives, to servers. Everything is on the asset register. When you get rid of something you remove it, when you buy something you add it.

Incredibly, the Department of Work and Pensions however doesn't have one of these. In fact, the DWP has, according to Jonathan Shaw MP, got no bloody idea what IT infrastructure it has because, well, it doesn't own the stuff you see, they contracted it all out, and,
Consequently, the Department does not maintain a register of those assets.
Now some might say that the contractor maintains the register, and this may be true of course, but there is a little bit of me that just sees nothing more than slopey shoulders here.

There is of course a great plus side to this. If the DWP doesn't own any IT infrastructure then technically they can't lose any either. Everyone's a winner!


T England. Raised from the dead. said...

At the moment our governments are distracted by the recession and the credit crunch, how are they supposed to look after computers & stuff?

Anonymous said...

One would hope that they were keeping an asset register of software licenses?

I can't see how a third party could hold this successfully, given that it will be in-house staff using the licenses, and the requirements for licensing would be driven by DWP resourcing, which a single contractor would not hold.

ScotsToryB said...

Word reached my ears years ago that BT enacts the very same policy.

I heard more than one story from various unrelated sources that departments were able to buy IT(normally laptops) without there being a central register.

Most of said laptops were then 'discovered' 12 months later in a broom-cupboard and(ahem) distributed to staff.


I have to add that BT is a fine upstanding version of a rapacious amoral company that should be immediately broken up for the benefit of consumers throughout the UK. Why the MC has not looked in depth into it's business practices and came down as hard as possible escapes me.

It has done its best for decades to hold back and benefit from the monopoly position it was granted and has, as a consequence, held up British commerce for years.

A more ignoble example of privatisation could only be thought up by Socialists.

Ha! I liked that last sentence!(Self praise yacky, yacky bla, bla.).


Anonymous said...

I've run these sort of outsourcing deals it is pretty standard practice you are leasing the service.

Armchair Sceptic said...

Why would the Department keep a register? If it did, it would just get leaked.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

OT, Have a Blue Christmas!

BrianSJ said...

When the NAO looked at Senior Responsible Owners, I seem to remember it was as bad as you might fear. Does DWP have any? I'd have thought it was down to one of them. Isn't that the point, which is why Sir Humphrey hates it so much.

Anonymous said...

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