DPM's diary: 5 December 2006

Weekly roundup of events at Bodcaster City Council

Weekly roundup of events at Bodcaster City Council

Monday

At around 11am I was summoned to see our policy officer or, as he is known within Bogcaster City Council, Rasputin. It seems the government is considering a further round of structural reform of local councils. We have put in a proposal to expand our boundaries and take over the neighbouring district of Hogwash.

"So what has this got to do with IT?" I asked. Rasputin smiled condescendingly and explained, "Money, dear boy, money. The financial savings in our bid were prepared by Angst and Jung. The government seems to think they are a bit sketchy and has asked for a more detailed costing.

"We don't want to trouble the consultants again on that, so we need you to do it for us by close of play Wednesday."

Tuesday

Called Rasputin to say the Angst and Jung figures do not stack up. They are showing annual savings of £4m, but the total IT spend at Hogwash is a tiny £1m.

"So, be creative," he suggested.

"You mean you want me to lie through my teeth," I clarified.

"That is an unfortunate interpretation of what is necessary for the greater good."

"But I am a chartered engineer, bound by professional conduct."

"Oh please! Look, the expanded council will need to restructure its management team. Will we need a director of IT, I am wondering?"

"Err I'll have the full breakdown of the £5m savings with you first thing."

Wednesday

Submitted my report on potential IT savings. If this happens they will simply combine the two budgets and take £5m off the bottom line. Since in reality there will be no savings to speak of, our budget will be reduced by a third. Can't let that happen.

Thursday

Popped down to town for the day. Diary says I am attending a seminar on nanotechnology applications in supercomputing. I am on the delegate list, along with a large number of other local government IT managers. Well, we like to be forward thinking.

Actually, I am lunching at the Commons, with Auberon Montisque-Harris, maverick Tory MP for North and West Bogshire.

Friday

The Bogcaster Gazette leads with how Bogcaster City Council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money on consultants whose business case for the expansion of the city boundaries is completely flawed.

A number of costings in the proposal are comprehensively debunked - including those for IT.

Missed an instalment of the DPM's adventures? Catch up online

www.computerweekly.com/dpmdiary




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