Someone to blame…

Written By: - Date published: 3:59 pm, June 25th, 2013 - 11 comments
Categories: accountability - Tags: ,

If an information technology project costing more than $10 million goes off the rails, the buck will now stop with Government chief information officer (GCIO) and Internal Affairs boss Colin MacDonald.”

One can’t help but feel that Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata and Craig Foss (& Bill English) of the Novopay debacle, Paula Bennett of various Work & Income privacy fiascos and Todd McClay and Chris Tremain of the impending IRD computer upgrade disaster have employed a scapegoat.

They’ve removed 2 civil servants over Novopay, but they didn’t have that necessary “Head of…” title to give the public satisfaction.  And they obviously don’t want to go themselves…

So next time they’ll be prepared.

11 comments on “Someone to blame…”

  1. Rich 1

    What’s actually going on in public service IT could be described as a “slow-strike”.

    Unlike others, smart IT people in the public service have a variety of alternative employment choices, and they’re taking them in droves. Which leaves their departments dependent on the dregs who can’t get work elsewhere, short term contractors and corporate consultants with their own agenda.

    It isn’t like having the whole floor down laptops, but the end effect is similar.

    • infused 1.1

      What a load of crap. That whole post was pulled from your ass.

      Most departments IT is outsourced to the govt panel providers. There are very few internal staff apart from low level help desk staff.

      It’s been a good exercise. Every department is going on similar platforms, instead of each department being on totally different hardware, os’s, applications.

      It’s reduced complexity and cost.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        And the private sector sucks up money while Government is helpless and unable to do fuck all except pay the exorbitant invoices presented. Perfect example being Novopay.

        • infused

          Did you reply just for the sake of replying? Because it carries no substance at all. Again you are confusing Novapay as TC has done.

      • tc 1.1.2

        You’ve stated the problem in your response, the few remaining people are low level as the real movers and shakers have long gone.

        Those that understood and directed to those who did the work are all mostly outsourced profit driven, blame shifting entities now like the big 4, geni, Datacom etc etc.

        That’s why you get novo pay, IRD, ryall’s shambolic DHB back office consolidation and so on. You can outsource the task but not the responsibility but the Nats are masterful at letting others carry the can for their arrogance and foolish ideology.

        • infused

          You are confusing infrastructure with software projects. The big 4 have nothing to do with Novapay.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Infused is correct. IT and software procurement are very different and if you don’t understand the difference you probably shouldn’t be discussing the details of either.

      • burt 1.1.3


        Remember these highly qualified and informed people learn all they need to know from the front page of the paper – be gentle on them.

  2. xtasy 2

    So what does the left stand for?

    Where is your collective, or SOE run alternative, to make it more efficient and accountable. I see the rot is setting in. The alternative forces should be focusing on offering better solutions. Just criticising and blaming will never win elections and change things.

    That is the damned sad reality, and I am so damned disillusioned with what I hear and read every day, from Labour, even the Greens and “the left”.

    Where are you heading, when you write this kind of story, mate?

    While criticism may all be well justified, it is damned time to offer an alternative agenda, but where the damned shit is it???

    Do you want to place a bet on Shearer? Where is Norman, too busy now to adjust to the middle class, or “centre”, or whatever they call it now.

    Has there been a date set for the “funeral of the NZ left”?

    I see none else developing, it is the most grim prospects I have ever seen in this country, really grim, and I am already suffering from depression and more. Bring it on voluntary euthanasia, please!

    • You want my collectivist response to IT software procurement? Sure. It’s pretty much straight out of Green Party policy, too.

      Government should adopt a free, open-source software policy with regards to large procurements, and employ developers to improve the base product and customise specific builds for government use in certain departments. (making those builds publicly available where it does not cause security issues to do so, and delayed publishing of very old builds where it does)

      While in the short term we might have to deal with not having certain features offered by commercial software and the necessary up-skilling involved in teaching staff to use new software, in the long term this will save the government a ton of money in licensing, create better free software that can be used profitably by business for private enterprise, and remove the perverse incentive to stick with failing software when you’ve invested in a lemon that doesn’t perform to spec, even when the government could reasonably sue for breach of contract.

      That said, in cases where there is limited use of certain types of software, it will be economical to just go with existing commercial solutions. But anything that the government would tender to have designed would honestly be better designed by the government employing software designers itself, and then offering it to other governments for free in the hopes of building support for similar policies overseas, that might create better economies of scale and allow countries to co-operate in free open-source procurement.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.1

        There’s room for international collaborations on open source as well. The Brazilian Federal Government moved to open source about 10 years ago, against strong warnings from Microsoft. As far as I’m aware, they’re still using it and Microsoft is still complaining.

        Of course, the ticket clippers who con ministers into buying rubbish systems would miss out on their take, but I won’t be shedding enough tears to noticeably raise the sea level.

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