I love it when Cabinet Ministers have a moan about the government. Usually it´s petty playground stuff or just sheer nonsense, but in the case of Francis Maude, he´s probably right! He´s moaning about the government´s IT network. Apparently the Wi-Fi is naff!
I think the masses can all relate to how Tory Minister feels – which is a first for a politician! Indeed, there comes a time in every web-surfers life when a dodgy router delivers a slow internet connection and leaves you wanting to punch something – normally the router! The box I got from my service provider used to drive me to the point of despair until I replaced it with a Nano SIM card. Works fine now!
Installing Wi-Fi Poses Security Issues
After getting frustrated about consistently being unable to connect to the internet on his iPad, Maude installed his own wireless network. However, he is not without his critics – perhaps not surprisingly Whitehall´s IT security chiefs who protest the system is designed with government security in mind and costs £7,000 per employee to run (the latter probably not the brightest boast they could have spilled the beans about!)
Given that high levels of security to protect “top secret” records, you would expect security in the Home Office to be pretty unbreakable. Despite this expense – that tax payer are no doubt forking out for – according to Maude the government´s IT system is “clunky,” and “rubbish.”
Security researchers side with the IT dept. Apparently, the self-installed Wi-Fi will not be able to configure some of the network segment that is managed by security experts in the House of Commons. Doesn´t that just fill you with comfort and confidence!
Abandoned Computer Networks
The IT fiasco is to be expected really – after all the UK government doesn´t have the best record with IT systems (or designing user-friendly websites). Between 2000 and 2008, Whitehall has wasted over £2bn in taxpayer´s money on abandoned computer projects. Just to give you a brief overview:
- £486m was thrown at the Child Support Agency´s new website only for it to collapse and lose claimant data. That resulted in a £1bn claims write-off
- An adult learning programme was subjected to extensive fraud
- A “Big Brother” type project which was designed to store everybody´s personal data like we are all criminals was scrapped after public pressure but not before the government had flittered away billions of pounds.
- Most recently, in January 2013, millions of pounds were squandered by three police departments when they pulled out of a contract with G4 after questions were raised about the companies Olympic Games fiasco. Why they didn´t think of that before spending a weeding down the budget is beyond me. No wonder George Osborne raised taxes again!
The only good thing to come out of yet another show of government incompetency is that we can be satisfied that politicians get just as ticked off with their wireless routers as the rest of us!