Government ICT Targets "Unrealistic"

From the Special Report on eGovernment,

“In 2002, the Government set a target of having all public services capable of on-line delivery made available by 2005.  This was clearly unrealistic”

Right lads, I know what to say at my next EI audit review.

There’s more,

The Public Services Broker was planned as a single website which would facilitate data sharing between public service providers and link together all the public services associated with significant events for members of the public, such as the death of a relative or setting up a business.  The aim was to make it easier for members of the public to find and use services.  No budget or timetable was set for the Broker project when it got initial Government approval in May 2000.

The Broker concept was innovative and ambitious.  Its feasibility, however, was not examined early on and planning was weak.  A review of the project in 2002 led to a scaling back of the proposal.  In May 2003, a less ambitious project was approved with estimated development costs of €14 million.  This project was due for completion in August 2004 but was not completed until December 2005 at a cost of €37 million.  Annual running costs for the Broker are in the region of €14 – €15 million.

37 million? For a project that essentially failed to deliver. With 14-15m annual running costs. Can you say return on invesment?

Hands up here any software startup that would be happy to share in that 37m in chunks of less than 100,000? Who would leap at a chance to implement a Government system at cost just for the experience and referenability.

The Irish government needs to scale down the size of its IT ambitions untils it learns how to manage them properly.

2 thoughts on “Government ICT Targets "Unrealistic"

  1. That is shocking – 37million for implementing a message hub. I suppose it is such a big SOA they had to re-invent a whole lot of wheels and draw lots of pretty diagrams. You only have to look at the Appendix of the Reach Broker Architectural Model ( to see how the Big Ball Of Mud was apparently important enough to warrent a reference while fundamental things like the normative XML, HTTP spec references are not present. FFS.

    To top it all off, I suppose the 37m + yearly 14-15m goes to large multi-national consultancy shops with no knowledge retained within the government IT departments (14-15m a year to maintain a system!).

    What a bunch of fools.


  2. “Hands up here any software startup that would be happy to share in that 37m in chunks of less than 100,000? ”

    I agree with you that there would be a queue of startups. The problem is startups are often excluded from government tenders by the rule: tendering companies must demonstrate a turnover of more than 300,000 Euros for their last 3 years in business!

    I guess it comes down to “nobody gets fired for hiring IBM”.


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