Sticking to the script – nothing is possible
Which is strange, because its bombing at the box office.
Theres a point in the document where the author considers the so-called trusted relationships and inclusion models for the NIS:
Starting with students or other young people in first half 2009 seems to be the quickest option and aligns with HM [Treasury] thinking on preferred target groups. But it remains an extremely high delivery risk. It also relies on creating voluntary demand with other public/private stakeholders, with the consequent risk of rejection.
According to Jacqui Smith, people cant wait for ID cards. But if people cant wait for ID cards, it is odd that the dIPSticks have to target particular groups and that they face the risk of rejection. Surely the problem should be how to cope with the flood of demand?
It would be a mistake to gloss over extremely high delivery risk and consequent risk of rejection. The dIPSticks take those risks seriously. So should we.
You might have thought that the banks and the major retailers would be a pushover for the NIS. Wrong. Sir James said no.
These are major rejections. The banks. The retailers. The airlines. The dIPSticks are supplicants. They have a service to sell. And if no-one will buy it, they have a problem. Just at the moment, it looks as though the private sector stakeholders cant wait to say no to ID cards. They will just make life harder.
Actually, do they have a service to sell?
Its all a bit vapourware at the moment.
Problem is, the prospective suppliers keep pulling out. Accenture dont want anything to do with the NIS. Neither do BAe Systems. Theyve both had their names taken off the candidate list. So have BT. So have Steria.
Problem is, the dIPSticks cant even specify what the service is. They keep asking us to do it for them!
Question: what do you call a service that cant be specified and that no-one wants to consume and that no-one wants a contract to provide? Answer, in the opinion of six academics, you call it a fairy tale. And in the opinion of a seventh academic, the dIPSticks are drowning.
Still, at least the dIPSticks can count on the public sector stakeholders. Or can they?
1. DWP wont allow anyone to claim benefits without an ID card, will they? Yes, they will.
2. DCSF (schools) and DIUS (universities) wont let anyone have a state education without seeing an ID card, will they? Yes, they will.
3. The DoH wont let anyone have non-emergency state healthcare without an ID card, will they? Yes, they will.
Thats three more failures for the dIPSticks sales strategy and several million more uninterested punters. The options analysis is running out of options to analyse. Precisely because the relationship with government is not a trusted relationship. And no-one wants to be included.
The dIPSticks can do what they like with passports and visas (with the co-operation of the FCO and HMRC). They can be utterly beastly. They can have their wicked way because thats their bailiwick. But whenever it comes to convincing a prospective customer in another silo, they fail, they are rejected. They have an unbroken track record so far of failure.
Not surprising, really. Why would people agree to make their life harder? Why should people agree to this foreign invasion of their everyday life?
Worth bearing in mind, that untarnished scorecard, in our campaigning. Its not so much we who need the audacity of hope. Its the dIPSticks, who have to overcome that no, we cant feeling. Under Jacqui Smith, Sir David Normington and James Hall, at IPS, it seems that nothing is possible.
Which will no doubt remind everyone of that other leak, the leak to the Times, of the email correspondence between OGC and IPS back in June 2006:
OGC: This has all the inauspicious signs of a project continuing to be driven by an arbitrary end date rather than reality ... I conclude that we are setting ourselves up to fail ... the (un)affordability of all the individual programmes ... the very serious shortage of appropriately qualified staff and numbers of staff ... the lack of clear benefits from which to demonstrate a return on investment ...
David Moss has spent six years campaigning against the Home Office's ID card scheme.