Same again please

Something’s just struck me … reading through – well, scanning over, the Audit Reports, there was talk of the need to get Torridge up to scratch with e-government.  So they’ve had all this money to spend on computers, but nobody’s now saying “Well we’ve done all that, so we can cut that budget now because we don’t need to buy all that new equipment and software, nor do we need to send our staff on training to understand how to use it.”

So one must assume that this budget will continue at the current rate.  I thought of this because of the money spent on all that infrastucture only to have it abandoned along with Torridge, which is a reason against abandoning Torridge.  But it doesn’t seem to be a particular issue.  I guess this is because computer equipment and software is continually being updated and something is old after only 6 months.

It then struck me … wouldn’t it have been a whole lot more sensible for central government to have set up a computer division to design and produce their own software?  With 433 local authorities in the UK, let’s take just one piece of software required by the head of environmental health costing £66,737 … that’s just short of £30,000,000 for the UK.

Now, given that two different divisions of the same department (council tax along with benefits) required the same software and licences, for which they had to pay twice, it does seem a complete waste of money to require local authorities to use these systems and then expect us to have to foot the bill over and over and over again, rather than paying just the one fee for the design.

The rest of that particular month includes ….

£26,236  x433 = £11,360,118.

£6667 x433 = £2,886,811

£5758 x 433 = £2,493,214

£1280 …           £554,240

£1992 …           £862,536

£235 …              £10,825

£29 (for a licence) £12,557

 

That’s £48,180,301 in just one month.  On that basis over a year (and I think that’s a fairly lean month for software) that’s £578,163,612 a year of tax payers money which could actually be conributing to jobs in this country resulting in computer software which can be sold all over the world.  Now, wouldn’t that be more sensible.  We design and produce the appropriate programs to allow our own local authorities to use at no charge (because we are saving so much on this already) and sell the programs to other authorities world wide, getting an annual income from the licence fee as well.  This increases our income, reducing the amount we have to pay as tax payers.  But that’s farrrrrr too sensible, isn’t it?

 

 

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