Friday, August 24, 2007

Perhaps why all government IT projects fail.

A variety of threads pulling to one source the previously mentioned letter and an article in the Shuttle; all link to the transport hub of WCC. The hub page itself isn't too bad barring some of the worcester-centric nature of where they're linking to.

Also a little heavy on the bureaucratic form filling - how do you report a problem with traffic lights, click on the lights? Nope that's an application form to put some up. go to the home and you can see clear links to report a problem with street lights; or highways, which includes non-electrical signs; but nothing else.

Anyway on to the report a pothole page. Oo a definition of a pothole.

Potholes or edge failure 200mm diameter x 40 mm deep
For me that's a handspan and thumb deep So what about long gouges can I report them using this form, how about subsidence of existing potholes? In other words can I report pothole precursors so they can be fixed before they actually might cause a problem?

Onto the report form, which seems to take an age to finish loading despite the page appearing fully rendered. Where to start hmm how about the address
eshop? I'm not buying anything and what's with all those displayed parameters have you not heard of session parameters; oh and I'm not in Malvern nor am I logged in

Purely in the spirit of research I reversed the logic which had the startling effect of apparently altering nothing. I also switched the "Register" address to 0 or 2 which took me to a login timeout page.

The "Login" address which passes on the same parameters, which again appear to do nothing when changed, tells me that the service requires me to log in and provides me with the fields to do so... yes that would be why I'd pressed the log in button; there's nothing like a standardised page to lift the spirits.

Anyway back to the pothole report form, but hey it's not - it's a Defect Report form. So maybe I can report potential problems, oh goody. Hmm the default locality is Worcester City so what's with the passed Malvern parameter?

Section 4
Please do not complete this section - after you submit your report to the Highways Dept this will be used to provide status updates. You will need to login to be able to view these.
...they're using fields you have access to for status details? Oh dear; oh dear oh dear oh dear.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry… what in the name of God…?

To be fair, it was probably sub-contracted to the lowest bidder. I doubt the government themselves had anything to do with it.

FlipC said...

Except for choosing the people to do it and not asking questions such as "If we don't want people to enter data in these fields why can they?"

Anonymous said...

You do kind of have to wonder if they even looked at the drivel the contractors produced for them…

(Hey, I wonder how much they paid for this?)

I'd almost go apply to work for these people to fix the damn thing! (Except for, you know, job security…)

FlipC said...

To be fair when you've got a big site it gets more difficult, but I would have expected a form that that they fill in to have prompted some thoughts.

As for job security you could always become a consultant or a ski-instructor... ;-)