Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Circumlocution Updates

Home Office Procedures Manual

A couple of updates on long-running BOM sagas:

Dysfunctional Home Office- "Hundreds of offenders who committed crimes abroad including murder, rape and sex abuse could be working unchecked back in Britain with children or other vulnerable people after a new blunder by the Home Office.

Urgent inquiries were under way by police last night to see if more than 500 of the serious offenders, including paedophiles, have managed to secure jobs working with children. Six years of information, which should have been entered into the Police National Computer (PNC), has been left to gather dust at Mr Reid’s department."

It seems An Age since we first blogged the Home Office Whelk Stall fiasco, but it is in fact just 11 months (see here). Since then it has staggered and reeled from bad to worse.

Despite that new ultra-modern £350m PFI HQ, its working practices are still taken straight from the Book of Circumlocution: "Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving—HOW NOT TO DO IT... Numbers of people were lost in the Circumlocution Office. Boards sat upon them, secretaries minuted upon them, commissioners gabbled about them, clerks registered, entered, checked, and ticked them off, and they melted away."

Except obviously these days they've dropped the bit about registering, entering, checking, and ticking off.

MOD Chinook fiasco- "The Ministry of Defence is to spend more than £100 million updating eight Chinook helicopters that have been grounded since they were bought from the United States for £252 million 12 years ago."

As you will recall, these Chinooks have been sitting useless in a shed down in Wiltshire because they don't work. And that's because instead of buying standard packages straight off the Boeing shelf, MOD decided to order their own bespoke controlling software from elsewhere. And it didn't "fit".

A classic MOD procurement shambles that is not only costing us another £100m to sort out (assuming it works...), but has also denied our troops desperately needed helicopter support in the field.

Oh, and as we learned just the other day, MOD's ultra-modern new PFI HQ is now slated to cost us £2.3bn.

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