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Friday, July 06, 2007

Meet Gwen Baker

Gwen loves life by the shore. Whether its her lakeside apartment, or the harbour views from her second home in England, or indeed the clifftop Italian hotels, five star naturally, in which she likes to holiday, Gwen loves to have water nearby.

I'd love to post a picture of Gwen Baker in one of her spectacular Venetian masks or swanning around in a stunning Mediterranean villa, so you could truly appreciate just how much she enjoys her life.

I'm not allowed to, though. I'd link to some pics of Gwen, but she's taken them all down off the web. She's taken down her CV too. This is also a pity, because if it were online I could link to it and then you could see for yourself why she and her fantabulous lifestyle should be of interest to every taxpayer in Ireland.

Gwen, an American lady of a certain age, is what's known as an SAP consultant. They design complicated IT systems. This much you can confirm online at her website here.

But you'll have to trust me when I tell you that Gwen was one of the leading designers of the Irish health service's PPARS computer system. A system that cost the Irish taxpayer over €180 million and has never worked.

It has been uncovered that IT consultants like Gwen walked away with millions of euro each for designing a system that ran rapidly out of control and never worked. People like Gwen were even hired via shady off-shore recruitment firms, and so it is unclear if they even paid tax on the millions they made.

It was announced today that the whole thing will have to be scrapped and a new system created. God forbid that they permit the morons of the HSE to oversee the replacement system. Yet, they will.

Those morons are the same morons who greenlighted every increase in budget for PPARS while they were in the old Southern or North-Western Health Boards. Yup, that's right, folks. They haven't been sacked. They're not going to be sacked. And they're probably going to oversee another scandal like PPARS all over again, because nothing has changed.

And probably people like Gwen Baker will come along again and siphon millions of taxpayers money from our health service - that's the HEALTH SERVICE, you know, the one that tries to help sick people but is starved of staff and resources? - by creating another IT system that doesn't work.

And probably people like Gwen will continue to enjoy their fabulously wealthy lives of luxury. And probably the same goons in the HSE will keep signing the cheques mindlessly. And the same fat lump of a health minister will nod and greenlight everything.

And the same poor, sick people will be stuck on the same trolleys in the same squalid hospitals waiting for the same beleaguered staff to look after them.

Because this is the Irish health service and no one is ever held to account. No one is ever to blame. And we the people are paying the price.


Anonymous said...

God forbid that any state body should have a functioning payroll system while people are lying on de trolleys. Oh dem trolleys. Oh de hunamity.

JC Skinner said...

God forbid that we pay 180 million for one that doesn't work while people lie on trolleys awaiting treatment in third world conditions.
Thanks for visiting the blog, by the way, Gwen.
How are those Italian five star hotels this summer?

mellobiafra said...

Small change of course compared to the £6 billion that that NHS squandered on similarly amateurish projects in Britian! That's before we even get to the Prison Service, CSA, Passports, MOD acquisitions...the list goes on. Can anyone actually name a governmental IT project that did work and come in on budget! Too many IT calamities to be coincidence surely...

Niall said...

considering the initial cost was quoted at a mere 9 million euros, i'd say things got a little bit out of control.

What I wonder is how the fuck can a project costs that much. I work as a programmer for an IT company and can't imagine how a system could be fucked up that much. If that was our firm we'd never get work again.

boro said...

Like Niall, i also work as a programmer. I cant fathom how a system can cost such a huge amount of money.

Flirty Something said...

Well when it takes a government order to fire someone what can you expect.

Dan Sullivan said...

The building for the US Supreme court is apparently the only government building in the Washington complex that came in on time and under budget. Says something.

WestIsBest said...

A lot of Government IT projects seem to be given to the big IT consultancy firms (Andersen Consulting, Accenture, Bearingpoint, Cap Gemini, SAP, etc). These firms are full of people who make a fortune out of talking complete and unadultered bollox, whilst delivering nothing. I too am a software engineer, and whilst working for a major Irish bank, I worked in tandem with some "consultants" from one of these firms. Their lack of knowledge about things that they were claiming to be experts in was appalling. And the bank were paying them a fortune each day for the privilege of having these morons on-site.

PPARS, the garda PULSE system, the list goes on.

So, hats off to Gwen Baker and her ilk. No doubt she'll be back again to cream the blips from us poor sods. Please send us a postcard from Italy Gwen...

I'll leave you with the consultants motto;

"Consultancy : If you're not part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem"