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back to article Computacenter rips up £43m council contract over razor-thin margin

Computacenter chief exec Mike Norris says the reseller giant stepped out of an ICT services contract with Cumbria County Council (CC) before kick-off because it was "confident" the deal would be loss-making. The council in January, apparently prematurely, confirmed Computacenter as the preferred bidder for a five-year contract …

COMMENTS

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FAIL

So why bid for a contract that you can'r deliver at the price you said you could?

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Gold badge

That was before he found out just how expensive his new yacht would be :).

Isn't this exactly the kind of work smaller locals could pick up? They don't have such a massive overhead in marketing, legal, management and ego to maintain and should thus be more cost effective. Just an idea..

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Anonymous Coward

"why bid for a contract that you can'r deliver at the price you said you could?"

To attempt to screw the competition?

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Anonymous Coward

Those 'painful consequences' being the directors walk away with a huge payoff and pension pot, while the company itself goes into administration, sacks all its workers, and the council is forced to either bail them out or pay even more money to a new supplier? Yeah... painful to everyone except you, Mike...

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...because it was a well written contract without the scope for change requests to make up for buying the business at a loss...

Fixed that for you.

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Thumb Up

...because it was a well written contract without the scope for change requests to make up for buying the business at a loss...

Wow. A council that smart. I truly hope you're right.

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Anonymous Coward

ha ha ha ha ha!

Seriously.... I used to work at Cumbria CC. I enjoyed it, but well organized and well written contracts - I very much doubt it somehow. My department was outsourced to Crapita, but it appears that nothing was learnt from this resounding success, and more and more muppets are being employed in senior positions, more money is being wasted on consultants and partnerships, and anyone competent is leaving as a result of the cost-cutting measures that are being applied. Mainly to people who do things other than attend meetings and set strategy, I have to say...

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Gold badge
Happy

Funny

When I said more or less the same thing about Cap Gemini I was down voted.

I suspect you're right.

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Anonymous Coward

funny

When I enter into a contract I have to perform, otherwise some large men come round threatening to sell my stuff. One could easily make the mistake of thinking there's one law for large companies and another one for ordinary people.

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N2
Bronze badge

Re: funny

That's where abject failure is defined as 'limited success'

& yes, the directors will get a large bonus

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FAIL

Re: funny

If you actually read the article you would have seen that the "contract" when it was announced, did not actually exist. They were walking away from signing said contract.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: funny

That's where abject failure is defined as 'limited success'

No that's Ãĉĉěńţūřė you're thinking about.

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Bronze badge
Flame

legal bullshit

Since when was 'But I'd look a fool' a 'legal reason' ?

It's about time people stopped hiding behind this 'legal reason' stuff.

And it's about time commercial companies who deal with public authorities expected to have their dealings made visible to the real owners : us.

We delegate the job of doing boring stuff to councils so we don't have to do it. That doesn't mean they have any reason to hide their activities.

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Silver badge

Time for Cumbria to go the Icelandic route?

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Meh

These are not the suppliers you are looking for....

So the council prematurely announced that there was a contract, when there actually wasn't. Not unusual for negotiations to fall over at the last minute, often because the supplier had left insufficient margin in the price to give in on a few points and still make a profit.

Poor negotiation by somebody, but not a big deal.

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Anonymous Coward

They probably didn't predict...

The increased cost in I.T. hardware due to the Japanese Tsunami, and the floods in Thailand.........

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and then the critical question...

How much money did this failed contract negotiation cost the taxpayer?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and then the critical question...

I can't help feeling there should be some kind of penalty for misrepresentation aimed at getting the contract. Perhaps the obvious one would be expecting them to keep their word?

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Bronze badge

Margins, margins, margins

Most IT contracts are unquantifiable.

One quality IT person can do the work of 100, though only if he does not have to undo damage caused by that 100.

So to me , it is likely that this contract has been sacrificed in order to improve margin prospects elsewhere.

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Paris Hilton

Isn't this a violation

Isn't this a violation of the Code of Conduct for evaluating RFPs.

Governments and Councils are not supposed to disclose failure of negotiations.

it is an open invitation for the next bidder for not dropping prices during negotiations.

WOW.....

Paris : Because she won't drop prices....

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Anonymous Coward

Woke up

They probably finally woke up to how they where ripped off with the agilysis contract. That's cost the council a large fortune over the years because it was written completely in favour of the supplier.

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Remember Success == *bonus* failure is not.

Limited success is not a problem

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Remember Success == *bonus* failure is not.

This is why civil servants love external consultants, nothing is ever the civil servants fault, why have a multi-million pound budget and fuck it yourself when you can employ external consultants and blame them.

Once the Sir Humphrey’s career is protected nothing else matters.

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