Thoughts, ideas, random notes, ramblings...

Our employees indulge themselves about all kinds of ICT and ICT-related subjects. Sometimes serious, sometimes with a big wink. But always with a message. Do you have an opinion about an article? Don't forget to comment!

I have often noticed that (semi) government institutions, be it National, Municipal or others, in their requests for ICT consultancy tend to demand - on top of an already sufficiently exhaustive and intimidating list of required skills - by way of knockout criteria that the consultant must have several years of previous "government experience". I happen to have an opinion about that.

ICT-fail

Everyone in our profession is well aware of the enormous amounts of community funds that are literally flushed by the Government on all sorts of failed, aborted, or otherwise unsuccessful ICT projects. We are talking hundreds of millions. ICT professionals are openly sniggering about every "ICT-fail" that gets published.

Obviously, malicious delight is the best form of delight, but this is about community funds that have to be raised by you and me doing hard labour. Moreover, these include levies of which one could be excused for doubting their decency, integrity and fairness; for example the VAT levied over BPM (Dutch automotive tax), excises, and "energy tax". Tax on tax - only in the Netherlands. And please don't get me started on the practice of taxing the same money twice, e.g. death tax and wealth tax.

Inbreeding

The question that keeps popping into my mind time and again when I get to see such a request for proposal, is obvious: Why in their right mind would the Government keep on keeping on recruiting the very same "experts", considering that the results of this perverse inbreeding evidently are dramatic? Could it be that one is fearful that actually someone might walk in who is a true expert, and pose a threat to the usual suspects?

I put it to you that it is highly desirable indeed that these Augean stables and bottomless money-pits undergo a very thorough cleaning out. I could come up with some suggestions to root out a number of stubborn practices that I would like to see exterminated as a matter of urgency. And no longer demanding "Government experience" would be only one of them.