Government & IT

Nick Hockings s96121272 at
Sat May 4 21:02:44 UTC 2002

The Economist magazine(Government and IT, May 4th 2002) reports that government 
is not only the largest buyer of IT, but it gets extraordinarily bad value for 
money. The UK Inland Revenue (tax office) had a £1.4Bn overrun from a single 
contractor.(Yes billion not million.)

(Note: the above contracts were all-inclusive hardware, software, 
implementation and maitenance.)

The people spending this money are also the ones who write the legislation. 
They must have some interest in cost effectiveness, (assuming they are not 
swayed by arguments for their own liberty).

1) Are any companies bidding for government contracts with Free Software 

2) Are we presenting cost related issues of liberty to legislators? (ie if the 
solution is free software based you can fire the contractor without scrapping 
the project.)

3) Are there any examples of better ways for large institutions to implement 
IT. ( eg decentralized, each office looks after its own LAN and outward 
connetions. This might involve applying free software development methods to 
building the physical network as well as sharing actual software.)

Nick Hockings

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