Government + IT = Farce

The BBC headline says it all: “Benefits computer failure chaos”. Do we trust these people to manage the proposed National Identity Register (PDF)? I mean, this isn’t the first time there’s been a complete and utter collapse of a government IT project – in the last week or so the Child Support Agency has also been in the news for similar reasons, and that’s just one example of many. Even if you’re not concerned about the civil liberties implications of the register and card, there are serious questions to ask about the competence of the government to run a scheme like this.

Update: I’ve just read that the catastrophe happened due to a screw-up during a trial upgrade of some of their computers from Windows 2000 to XP. Oh, the joys of Microsoft.