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The Ugly Face Of Uk Jobs


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Here's a real life anecdotal.

The DWP is creating a new personnel database. This is for its own internal systems and will not affect non-employees of the DWP.

Original budget £20m.

Currently running at £160m and not finished. The staff are milking it for all its worth - overtime at time and a half etc. The budget paid for several christmas parties and bottles of wine and chocs for everyone working on it. The majority of the money is going to the consulting firm.

The thing that really riles me, is, no-one is accountable. If someone at my firm forecasted spending at £20m and then exceeded it, they would not get near £160m before being dismissed for incompetence.

How about this - I worked on a project for a local authority (yes I used to work for public sector) and BT were the consultants. Basically BT had about 5 consultants in leading the project, and about 35 of the LA's own staff were used as resource to get the project out. Six months later the LA discovers that BT owned the finished product, AND HAD TO BUY IT OFF THEM FOR SEVERAL MILLION, despite the fact that THEIR OWN STAFF had developed it ?>?!?!?!?*&^%*

I left shortly afterwards in disgust.

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I had to laugh when I saw the comments about the DWP costings - much of my previous comment relating to overspend on consultants for consultants sake relates to my awareness of a colleague employed as a prinicipal consultant on the DWP Project.

Charged out at £1850 a day to the client (i.e taxpayers ultimately - he takes home 55k of this p/a) he spends all of his time chasing contracts and consultants, who are employed in roles that even they don't understand why, to then manage other consultants in turn. Ultimately he has dozens of "IT" and "Telco" consultants around him doing nothing but making up the numbers!

I sell Enterprise level IT - i.e. Data Centre Solutions - and I have encountered many many projects (often Government or local Government) where there are upwards of 30 people involved in managing or deploying the same project that could easily be done by just 1 person if they weren't so ludicrously overstaffed, inefficient and beaurocratic.

I forgot to mention that he has been doing this day in day out for nearly 9 months over the initial expected stint!

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It is quite contraversial for you to suggest RECESSION! That's two of us now. Probably best to be a doctor or to work in the Citizen's Advice Bureau if you want job stability next year! Then again the CAB people will need Prozac, so best just to be a doctor.

Or a mental health nurse!! :ph34r:

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Guest grumpy-old-man

Here's a real life anecdotal.

The DWP is creating a new personnel database. This is for its own internal systems and will not affect non-employees of the DWP.

Original budget £20m.

Currently running at £160m and not finished. The staff are milking it for all its worth - overtime at time and a half etc. The budget paid for several christmas parties and bottles of wine and chocs for everyone working on it. The majority of the money is going to the consulting firm.

The thing that really riles me, is, no-one is accountable. If someone at my firm forecasted spending at £20m and then exceeded it, they would not get near £160m before being dismissed for incompetence.

my god.....thats astronomical :o:o

I just do not understand this madness!!!!

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Hmm, none of this sits too well with me as an newbie 3 years LA employee.

We might be an exception - as we got all the stars - but the LA brought in a big project running in millions - under budget and ahead of schedule.

Outside contract but very seriously controlled at all levels by internal staff at all levels including who owns code. But also have experience of contracting on projects - where LA staff - ensured they owned the code and also held tight reigns on contractors (these were major city councils).

In my experience at LA and city level - there are some very talented and highly qualified IT managers who know what they are doing.

We have a budget for IT - and we are last in line so no matter what we spend or dont' we have a budget end of story and that budget is set after all other services have had their say. We are the last in line.

We often come in budget because we don't hire the staff we need and in fact, I'm doing at least 4 x more than I was before.

We had contractors - and clever managers ensured that the contractrors had a finite life on the project and part of the deal was handover to existing staff. We don't have a training budget - in fact it's a standing joke in our dept - no training - RTFM - read the ******ing manual - and AQ - Ask Questions.

We don't rely on contractors - we watch them like hawks on every installation - and insist on every document available - to ensure that we have it under our own roof. When we can't install ourselves - because they say "it's not the software but your environment" - we take them to court and get the money back for our time testing to prove its' their software at fault, not our environment.

We actively do everything in our power to ensure that every skill is in-house short of the programming and we have test beds for teams so that they get the learning skills in order to ensure we don't use consultants.

And, in the team we are paid an average of £21k.

Even stranger still - our pay increases are set in stone each year by the govt. We got 3% over two years for the last two and are set to get 2% over the next two years. So not sure where you get 4%. That might be at govt level - but belive me, that is not how it is for those of us at LA level or even county level or even city levels.

It isn't anymore the case that if you don't spend the budget you'll be cut-off so, spend, spend, spend, we are now and not just IT - but every service - given a set-budget based on what the govt decide to give. And frustrating - it doesn't bear a relationship to council tax. We're given a budget - and anything collected over that actually goes back to the govt AND THEN get deducted from next years' budget.

The over-spend is with Blairs teams - not at the lower levels. Believe me!

It's another clever VI spin from the Blair govt that I wish Paxman would get a grips on.

Rant done

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We're given a budget - and anything collected over that actually goes back to the govt AND THEN get deducted from next years' budget.

What they need to understand is that allowing staff and managers to keep some of the surplus is the best way to keep costs down in the long-run. I also thought now that the government allows departments to roll over surpluses to the next year.

I think you are an illustration of "80% of the work is done by 20% of the staff".

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Exactly: in government jobs the incentives are completely backwards, which is precisely why government ******s everything up. Do a bad job and you get more money, do a good job and you get less money.

Once you understand that, it's immediately obvious why government makes problems worse in 99% of cases: they're literally _paid to do so_.

Spot on. As a public sector worker i have noticed that pattern. I have worked there for 2 years now (only 21) and have receievd 1 promotion. Management knowing that i do nearly double the set workload daily (i know how sad, but my mum always says...fair days work for a fiar days pay) yet a colleuge of mine who does absolutly F**k all, and so far this rolling year has had 64 days off sick got a management position.

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Spot on. As a public sector worker i have noticed that pattern. I have worked there for 2 years now (only 21) and have receievd 1 promotion. Management knowing that i do nearly double the set workload daily (i know how sad, but my mum always says...fair days work for a fiar days pay) yet a colleuge of mine who does absolutly F**k all, and so far this rolling year has had 64 days off sick got a management position.

This sometimes happens in the private sector but seems almost institutionalised in the public sector. At a university where I used to work the IT manager on 40K and the general manager on 60K both left, their positions were not replaced, and nobody noticed. When I was off for a day I'd come back to 50 emails and a full intray.

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"17 June 2006

£14BN OVER BUDGET ..TWO YEARS LATE

Yes.. it's ANOTHER government computer fiasco

By Oonagh Blackman Political Editor

A MASSIVE computer project to link 30,000 GPs to nearly 300 hospitals could end up £14billion over budget and two years late, it was claimed yesterday.

The original price tag for the plan, due to go online in 2012, was £6.2billion.

It is now £12.4billion but is predicted to rise to £20billion"

mindblowing over budget figures, I mean IT salaries havn't really changed much since dot con have they, hardware has come down in price........so where has it gone ??

IT salaries have fallen in real terms. The work probably went to Mumbai - they have six lane highways to build and apartment blocks at £200k +

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