Even your best friend wouldn’t tell you
by David Moss
IPS need suppliers to help them to deploy the NIS. Should suppliers bid
for NIS work?
Back on 8 November 2007, on the Ideal
Government website, 10
problem areas were identified for suppliers to consider. The list
of problems has been maintained and has grown now to 32.
The expanded list makes gruesome
reading for any chief executive considering a bid for NIS work, and
leads to this conclusion:
The question you have to answer is: should you make the
investment required to bid for work on the NIS?
Many commercial decisions are difficult.
This isnt one of them. Where there should be facts,
there are only unknowns. It is impossible to build a mathematical model
of the investment opportunity from which to derive an internal rate of
In theory elementary economic theory that
should be the end of the matter. The answer to the question is no.
In practice, that is naïve. There are externalities.
It may be argued that, by investing in the NIS, your company is being
a good, patriotic
citizen, helping to counter terrorism, reduce crime and deliver more
efficient public services.
That argument fails. There is no reason to believe that
the NIS could deliver those benefits. In fact, the reverse is the case.
Investment in the NIS diverts resources from effective
measures which could achieve those benefits. It is the commercially
illiterate IPS who are unpatriotic, and there is no good reason for you
to assist them.
So now how sensible does it look to invest in this
project? Which sensible chief executive would commit the funds? Why? What
return is sensibly to be expected? What price risk?
No-one will work with them. WIBBI* IPS used Lifebuoy?
* WIBBI = wouldn't it be better if
David Moss has spent six
years campaigning against the Home Office's ID card scheme.
- © 2008 Business
Consultancy Services Ltd
- on behalf of Dematerialised