The role of English and Welsh Law in the suppression of scientific debate has begun to be noticed by the popular press. Simon Singh is embroiled in a dispute with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) for daring to suggest that they may have no evidence of
benefit for their ‘treatments’ but indeed there is evidence that they are positively (?) harmful
. Hot on the heels of this affair, Nick Cohen, a commentator in the Guardian, has written a piece suggesting that mathematicians are being frightened into silence about city shenanigans through the threat (implicit I assume - little if any evidence is provided) of legal action
if they point out some of the obvious flaws in investment and trading policy - namely that few understood these complex instruments, in fact some of them might well cost more to understand than they were worth. Read More...
IBM has announced
that it will hand some work on the National Biometric Identity Service (NBIS) to two other suppliers, Atos and Sagem, respectively integration and operations support, biometric services and technology.
Clearly the three organisations are experienced and competent - but what are the long term consequences for the service that the government (and by extension the UK population) will experience? Read More...
The government has come under criticism for failing to manage external contracts effectively.As much as £300m could be saved each year if central government manages its contracts better, the Public Accounts Committee estimated. From the Civil Service Network
The Public Accounts Committee is a wonderful organisation. At least as far as the recognition of symptoms go.
The question many would like to ask is this - “we see the failures, where are the cures”? Government and the overseers (in as much as select committees are capable of effective oversight) make much noise about ‘value’ but seem incapable of distinguishing between value and cost where procurement is concerned. Read More...
The British National Health Service is, for the umpteenth time, showing everyone how difficult designing, managing and delivering a complex service can be. The NHS Spine programme
, is intended to ‘join up’ patient databases across the country, enable flexibility in the choice of provision and streamline access to healthcare. Can it ever be successful and does the procurement and management of this very ambitious programme have anything to teach us in the services world? Read More...
Mervyn King is under fire for (amongst many sins, real and perceived) for being misled
by ‘faulty’ models of our economic system
. Apparently a number of former members of the MPC
have agreed to join an ‘extraordinary’ experiment with a consultancy ‘Fathom
’ (could be a lot of them so take this link with a pinch of salt) to develop an alternative forecasting model. Of course they expect this will be better..... Read More...