There has been a lot of discussion, a lot of opposition, a
lot of lying and a lot of politic surrounding the very idea of introducing ID
cards into the UK.
We have now reached the stage where Colin Langham-Fitt,
acting chief constable of Suffolk Constabulary has said:
“The proposed National Identity Register is creating a
massive security threat”. He went on to say that criminals would pay unlimited
amounts to subvert the national identity database. “In creating a national database
you are creating a gold standard for ID [authentication],” said Langham-Fitt.
“It will be worth whatever it costs to hack it, to mirror it and subvert it.”
“We are at risk from insider threats and card cloning. The
idea the card can be used to fight terrorism is completely fatuous. This scheme
is convenient for government, but not for citizens,” said Langham-Fitt.
When the crime prevention officer tells us something, we
The Identity and Passport Service has claimed its identity
card scheme is not “out of control”, as the London School of
Economics claims, but is being built on “uncertain” sands.
Who on earth builds on shifting sands? What they really mean
is that they have a rough idea of what they want at the end of the day
(everyone tagged and checked), but don’t have a clue on how to get to get to
the end point, what the business plan is, how the politics can be presented,
how to deal with the costs, or the public disquiet, or how to deal with the
plethora of technology companies all telling them how good their equipment is,
none of which is working properly because most of it is based on vapourware.
Then we have the costs, the massive rising costs, with
project teams running around like headless chickens because no-one has a clear direction,
the costs are mounting on a daily basis.
When a man does not
know to which port he is headed, no direction is the right direction. – Marcus
And finally, the admission by Joe Harley, chief
information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), that only
30% of the government's technology-based projects are a success.
Taxes are funding a £14bn annual spend
on IT – equivalent to 6,000 new primary schools or 75 hospitals a year,
about 600,000 nurses could be employed or more than three million state
The 2 riskiest IT programmes: the £5.3bn
ID cards scheme and the NHS’s £12.4bn National Programme for IT account
for most of that.
“Today, only 30%, we estimate, of our
projects and programmes are successful,” said Harley. “Why shouldn’t it be
Indeed, why not 90%.
I have written before
as to the causes of government IT failures, few listened then, but now a report
by the Parity Group said their findings show only 35% of project managers
considered completing within budget very important, and only 38% thought
finishing on time was a top priority, that most IT project managers
do not think that finishing a project on time and in budget is important.
Parity concludes: “The overwhelming
conclusion is that poor leadership is jeopardising project success. From a lack
of commercial awareness to poor fostering of team skills, too many
organisations are failing to provide senior leadership throughout a project.”
All I can say to that is they are
employing the wrong kind of project managers, and the Parity report backs up my
own conclusions. Maybe I’ll do it for £1200
Do we need ID cards. – NO
Do we want ID cards –
Can we afford ID cards – NO
Is there the technology to do it properly – NO
Do we need all these Consultancy
groups in Government – NO
Will it ever be finished – No (unless they completely change
their thinking and personnel)
Is there a good reason for ID cards – NO (other than John
Poindexter’s Orwellian plan).
Its time to pull the plug, time to say enough of the costly,
No to ID Cards, No to the database state.