The Tony Collins Blog

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Tony Collins is an investigative and campaigning journalist and former Executive Editor at Computer Weekly. With his friend and colleague David Bicknell he wrote "Crash", which found common factors in the world's largest public and private sector IT-related failures. He wrote "Open Verdict", a book on the strange deaths of defence scientists. He writes, and gives talks, on the tensions and disputes between suppliers and users.

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Recent Posts

An NPfIT, BT and Cerner go-live success?

A go-live of a Cerner Millennium patient records system under the NHS IT programme at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, is officially a "success". But is it?

BT and Cerner have praised the go-live of the Millennium patient records system at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust as "one most efficient roll-outs of the system they have worked on," according to the trust's chief executive John Goulston. The implementation...

Has two decades of outsourcing cut costs at HMRC?

To ask the question is to know the answer

If HMRC’s experience is anything to go by, outsourcing can, in the long-term, at least triple an organisation’s IT costs. When Inland Revenue contracted out its 2,000-strong IT department to EDS, now HP, in 1994 it was the first major...

Tags: accenture, bt, campaign4change, capgemini, change management, cio, cloud computing, fujitsu, g-cloud, gateway reviews, government it, hmrc, inland revenue, it projects, it-related failures, managing outsourced services, national audit office, operational issues, outsourcing, oversight, procurement, project management, public sector, public services, public-private partnerships, supplier relationships

Did officials exaggerate death of the NPfIT?

Did the Department of Health make a misleading announcement on the future of the NPfIT?

In 2011 the Department of Health made a major announcement that implied the NHS IT programme, the NPfIT, was dead when it wasn’t. The DH's press release announced an "acceleration of the dismantling of the National Programme for IT, following the...

HMRC's IT spend reached a record in 2011/12

HMRC spent a record sum on IT in 2011/12. Are its outsourced costs under control?

In March this year the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced that his officials and Capgemini have agreed savings of more than £200m on the "Aspire" contract with HM Revenue and Customs. English: Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office...

IBM in dispute with South West One partners

Has IBM fallen out with three public authorities?

IBM has revealed that it is in dispute with three public authorities that comprise its joint venture South West One. The partners in South West One are IBM, Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council and Avon and Somerset Police...

Will CSC negotiate a new NPfIT deal?

Could CSC use 200 UK jobs as a lever in talks for a new NPfIT deal?

CSC has told investors that its discussions with the UK government on an interim agreement for deploying Lorenzo to the NHS are “continuing positively”.CSC says that an agreement could commit a certain number of NHS trusts to take Lorenzo. Some...

Tags: cabinet office, csc, francis maude, government of the united kingdom, lorenzo, nhs, nhs connecting for health, nhs trust, public sector

Should this Trust be planning an IT switch to Cerner now?

Should this Trust plan a big IT switch while questions remain over its data, processes and organisation?

NHS executives at PCTs in London are asking how it was possible for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to lose track of hundreds of patients who were referred for urgent appointments with specialists to discuss possible cancer. The Department of Health...

US hospital takes legal action against Cerner - why it matters to the NHS

Small Kansas hospital in legal action against e-patient record supplier Cerner

Joel Schectman, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, has researched the case of a small hospital in Kansas that is blaming Cerner for the failure of an electronic medical records project.Cerner is one of the world's largest suppliers of...

Tags: cerner, ehr, electronic medical record, emr, nhs, npfit, public sector

Why is DH paying to keep Healthspace project alive?

There is evidence the Healthspace project has been failing since 2010. Why is it still being kept alive?

HealthSpace, a Department of Health system for patients to keep information about their health, is to close “from” March 2013.There is evidence that the system has been failing for years, at least since a report commissioned by the Department of Health...

Ian Watmore's departure - a personal view

Is Ian Watmore's departure the end of an era

Ian Watmore, who leaves the civil service next month, has his critics, David Moss among them. For me Watmore's time in the civil service has been marked by openness, honesty and a lack of ego. Many times he has been before Parliamentary...

Tags: cabinet office, civil service, francis maude, government cio, ian watmore, minister for the cabinet office, public sector, universal credit