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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
The Dangers of Targets
It would seem that last year's datagate cock up by HMRC, when they lost the personal data of 25 million people, was not just down to negligence but was also the result of Brown's management by target philosophy.
According to Merlin, The Earl of Erroll (an IT expert who is widely regarded as the only Lord with programming skills), datagate was "because of targets [and] budgets" rather than being the fault of individuals.
Lord Erroll noted, during a panel discussion at the Infosecurity security conference, that someone had to get the data somewhere else to meet a target. He added that having simple procedures doesn't work, if the only way to hit targets is to bypass those procedures.
"We live in a complex world. The moment you try to use simple rules and controls, they don't work."
The data that was lost by HMRC should have had details, such as bank details, stripped out of the databases on the discs before they were sent to the National Audit Office. However, the data was left in as a result of costs savings targets.
A false economy by anyone's standards!
As long as Brown holds office, management by targets will continue.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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