Sunday, February 26, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 5

In the news this week:

£600m pa wasted in magistrates' courts- "More than one in three magistrates' court cases fail to proceed on any given day because of needless adjournments... magistrates, who deal with most legal cases, are paralysed by delays and inefficiency. In one telling example, a judge at Manchester city magistrates finally lost patience after adjourning a case for the 10th time: "This is not in the interests of justice. The public are paying for this, it is costing a fortune and it is wrong." The annual cost to the taxpayer - based on the National Audit Office's costing for an ineffective hearing - would be £600 million." ( Sunday Telegraph 26.02.06)

£18m pa on yet more consultants- "HM Revenue & Customs is hiring £1,000-a-day management consultants to carry out tasks performed by its own staff for just £120 a day. Between 70 and 80 consultants are being hired to work as business analysts...An insider has revealed that the practice was being blamed on the Gershon Review: "Under Gershon's manpower cuts we are not allowed to hire staff but the work's still there and it's got to be done. So it gets done by consultants who get paid between £700 and £1,000 a day. The Revenue staffers they sit next to get paid [typically] £120 a day." ( Sunday Telegraph 26.02.06)

New £996m NHS IT system "breaks down"- "The child health information system, introduced last summer as part of the government's £7 billion NHS IT programme, has derailed the country's entire vaccination programme, leaving health staff resorting to slips of paper to work out who needs immunising. Several women whose babies were stillborn have received letters asking them to take their babies for their first vaccinations. Childhood vaccine expert Professor Brent Taylor said last night that the situation was 'unbelievable...We are talking here about children in some of the most deprived communities who have not received the jabs they need to protect them from life-threatening illness. This situation...has the makings of the biggest NHS computer scandal ever.' (Observer 26.02.06)

Total for the week: £1,614 millions

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