E-borders fiasco result of cost-cutting obsession

Reposted from Public & Commercial Services website

PCS say this is what happens when you cut back on public sector staff, who have no interest in profit and replacing them with a private company that does!

This happened under Lin Homers watch (quelle surprise) seems everything she touches turns to poo poo.


The latest e-borders fiasco where the taxpayer has been left to foot a £224 million bill is the result of successive governments’ obsession with cost-cutting

The Guardian reported today that the contract to put in place an electronic system to check travellers leaving and entering Britain was ended by the government in July 2010 because the Home Office said it had no confidence in Raytheon, the company that won it in 2007 and which had fallen a year behind schedule on delivery.

However, an arbitration tribunal has now awarded the Massachusetts-based company £49.98m in damages after it found that the processes by which the now-defunct UK Border Agency reached the decision to scrap the agreement were flawed.

The Home Office must also pay Raytheon £9.6m for disputed contract-change notices, £126m for assets acquired through the contract between 2007 and 2010, and £38m in interest.

We are calling on the government to invest in the skills of its workforce to find solutions rather than puts its faith in the private sector. 

Invest in public sector workers

Our general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “When embarkation controls were in place, the department could readily count people coming in and out of the country. These were scrapped as a cost-cutting measure. The costly e-borders programme was introduced to remedy this, but was also designed as a cost-cutting measure. The obsession of successive governments with cost-cutting has led us to this sorry state of affairs.

“Instead of putting its faith in private sector profiteers who will inevitably come back to bite the hand that feeds them, the government should invest in the skills of its workforce to find solutions. Should the government try to find the £0.25bn that it now owes the profiteers by further cutting the jobs of our members, further restraining their pay levels or further privatisation, we will respond robustly.”

We believe this latest fiasco demonstrates why Home Office ministers and senior management, past and present, have become legendary for their incompetence. Instead of promoting those responsible, for example making former UKBA chief Lin Homer chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs, and paying her huge bonuses,

“It’s time to call them to account for their poor performance mismanagement of the public purse,” added Mark. “The wasted £224 million is enough to put £500 in the pay packet of every worker across the whole civil service.”



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