Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Database State stutters

It will have come as a relief to many that the ContactPoint database has been 'halted' - whatever that means. I would hope that the UK Government has learnt its lesson from this latest IT cock-up.

OK, I know that was a silly hope.

How can we convince our leaders to be sensible? Here is a quote from the Times On-line article:
All of this will continue to happen as long as the Government continues to think that IT contracts and databases can be fully effective and 100 per cent secure. Some problems cannot be fixed with computers. The Rowntree report has the following advice for ministers: “If you think IT is the solution to your problem, then you don’t understand IT, and you don’t understand your problem either.”
So we need to education our leaders.

OK, I know that was a silly thought.

The worry is that these fools will eventually manage to push through some sort of integrated system that links all our data. They tried with Clause 152, and we managed to stop them; they will try again, and we need to be vigilant. We need to make a concerted effort to keep this in the forefront of debate.

So, make a noise about this - we are allowed, for now, to do that.

Pointing out the errors of the ContactPoint database may be a useful arguement to prevent the proposed identity database.


The coverage in the Telegraph is quite interesting.
The automatic flow of data into ContactPoint from sources such as the child benefit database has also been halted, to prevent further duplicate files [sic] being created.
Just how bad a job did EDS do in designing this database? How much have they been paid? Does anyone in government understand what a database is or do they think of some well known desktop application. Do you think that Gordon Brown, or indeed any member of the cabinet, knows what 'referential integrity' means?

1 comment:

  1. "Some problems cannot be fixed with computers."

    So true its also the reason why my work in the post office used to take 20mins now takes 1hr+. Sometimes a pen, paper and 2 or 3 brain cells beats a computer :)

    As for goverment and IT all there so called IT wonders I can recall seem to have a van loads of cash poured onto them then either fail, someone decides changes are needed half way though the project and then it costs 200X more than the orig. estimate and takes 200X longer and then fades away or when it does get put in it dont work or people cant work it :)

    Whats the obsession with databases anyhow there only as accurate as the info put in them surely.