Tempting fate

You’d think that, with the reputation large public-sector computing projects have for being late and over-budget, any public body would want to avoid headlines blagging about multi-million pound savings from some new gee-whizz integrated computer system. Wiltshire County Council clearly has a lot to learn….

Business streamlining project will save up to £11m a year
A project to streamline the way Wiltshire County Council supports front-line services has taken a significant step forward.
Members of the county council cabinet have selected Logica to work with it to enable many internal services to be provided much more efficiently.
The business management programme will simplify and standardise the way many processes such as invoicing, procurement, payroll and human resources are undertaken, through the reorganisation of services and the installation of a new, fully integrated computer system.
The move will potentially save the new One Council for Wiltshire between £9m and £11m a year after the initial investment of £8m is repaid.

It’ll only take a little over-optimism on how big the savings will be, combined with some traditional public-sector mismanagement of the computer project, for those savings to shrink to zero.

If you’re going to splurge vast sums of money of IT consultants and feel the need to publicise it, ’tis far wiser to do it somewhere nobody will look.