Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tendering process behind schedule

The F.T. reports that the procurement process seems to have stalled, with no date being given for the call for proposals. The ID card project will be the largest and most complex ever undertaken by the government, with around four different "packages" of work and involving up to 20 different suppliers.

It could well be that the multisuplier route is an attempt to avoid the costly mistakes caused by relying on single suppliers in the past. However, problems are most likely to arise where "the idea [for the system] has not been subjected to systematic thinking about the objectives, how it will work, how human beings will interact with it, and so on", according to Philip Virgo, strategic adviser to user group the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, in this article. Given the frequent changes in the avowed purpose and scope of ID cards, it looks like this is one point of failure that is all too likely to be repeated.

Recent notable failures in UK HMG IT procurement:

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