James Governor's Monkchips

Identity Vendors: Come to UK To Make More Money Than You Can Count.

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[Some politics in this blog. sorry. but don’t worry, I only criticise the UK government…]
As expected the New Labour Camp ignored all sensible advice and is going ahead with its ill-thought out plan to create a single point of failure for all UK citizen identity information.
If you’re an identity management supplier it is time to set up a UK office. If you’re already here its time to hire more salesmen and lobbyists.  No delays, no excuses. Jump in. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity – practically all upside, with little or no oversight.
I really would like to know what suppliers actually thought the government’s plan was a good idea. I have spoken to people at Microsoft, Sun and IBM and they all said the planned approach is incredibly risky, if not downright foolhardy. Should KPMG shoulder all the blame for the back of an envelope planning assumptions of the UK government? [Dennis?]
We’re not allowed to know any more about the project plans because of “commercial confidentiality”. Rather wonderfully for vendors this secrecy is set to continue. Charge what you like – the UK government will cover for you. What ever happened to European public sector procurement rules?
Here is professor Ian Angell of the well respected London School of Economics, quoted in ZDNet.

“Any companies involved in IT should stick their snout in the trough now, because it’s going to be a gravy train,” said Professor Ian Angell, head of the LSE’s department of information systems. “Some companies are worried about the effect on their brand when the scheme fails, as it will. Don’t worry — just blame the government.”

“This is a huge opportunity for IT companies, as there are no downsides. Bid for everything — the system will be so huge, there won’t be enough manpower in the country to deliver. And you can put in ridiculous prices, because the system won’t work. It’s a Mad Hatter’s tea party,” added Angell.

If you’re a UK citizen it may be time to start thinking about a move to mainland Europe, where their are plenty of countries that aren’t so intrusive about your life. Bless the Schengen agreement. If you’re an American keep an eye on what happens here. Its probably your future, too.
If you’re an identity vendor, you know the drill.


  1. There’s a critical issue here. ZERO accountability in the public domain. The ‘commercial confidentiality’ argument is a flag of convenience behind which government hides. Isn’t it now a case that having outsourced so much of its IT expertise there simply isn’t the intellectual bandwidth to argue against the vendor community. That makes for a free for all. It seems it is only when there’s enough noise that the EDSs of this world (for example) are brought to account.

    Personally, I thought it was hilarious that government should put its trust in a company bearing the same name as the organisation that was fined $456 million by the SEC for flogging illegal tax schemes.

    Credibililty? What credibility?

  2. hey james.

    good point. you should point this to the crew over at http://www.identity20.com/ and my fellow vancouver-ites http://www.sxip.com.


  3. funny you should say that andre. i am in the process of getting with dick hardt, at duane nickull’s introduction. so the spirit of vancouver is with us, ay?

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