“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
Yes folks, anything America can do Britain can do better, or worse as the case may be.
I’ve written previously about the pathetic failures of the Obamacare web site which seemed to be down more often than up at a time when people were desperately trying to register for this new, unnecessary, and far too expensive Obama initiative.
Well, not to be out done, Britain has managed to do more or less the same thing – again!
What I’m talking about here is the British government’s catastrophic record when it comes to computerization.
The flagship of their lack of achievement still has to be the $10 billion system it commissioned to computerize their Health Service which was promptly thrown into the trash when it failed to deliver on almost all levels.
And it has done it again.
The British government recently decided to do away with the 90 year old paper tax disc that had to be displayed on a car windscreen in order to be legal for road use. They also decided it would be more efficient (I can hear you laughing already) if they computerized the whole system so that people could apply for and pay this tax online rather than having to go to a government office or use the postal service.
So it decided to rebuild its Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.
And they did. And when it launched it immediately went tits up (that’s British for fell over, stopped working, failed, flatlined, collapsed).
The new system just couldn’t cope with demand for its service as thousands of drivers rushed to use it to renew their car tax.
Frustrated citizens were met with the message
Embarrassingly, they even had to take the web site and phone services completely offline in an attempt to fix the technical cock-up, resorting instead to tweeting lame apologies all day Monday.
Of course the debacle was blamed on “unprecedented demand”, so really it was the public’s fault for using the system rather than the system being inadequate for a number of users that should have been easily anticipated if they had put any thought into at all.
Hundreds of commercial organizations have web sites – some very popular with millions of visitors – operating 24/7 with very little, if any, problems.
Why can’t governments do the same.
In particular why do they persist with a tendering system that leads them to employ companies who are incapable of doing a good job.
Could it be that those in government are incapable too???