Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wasting taxpayer's money

No wonder the Swedes have one of the highest tax burdens in Europe when you start looking at how careless money is spent throughout the public administration.

I particularly love the fact that the morons at Skatteverket don't have a clue how much an e-mail system migration will cost, let alone how much money they will potentially, although not very likely, save on this migration some time in the future:

Hur mycket hela migreringen kommer att kosta - och vilka besparingar som kan göras - är ännu inte klart.

I'll give them a hint. We're probably talking of a migration cost somewhere in the 50-70 million SEK area. At best.

I'm also fascinated by the fact that Skatteverket is completely ignoring the intention that the authorities should strive for open standards when choosing IT solutions, and that these morons instead choose to "standardize" on a vendor which products are notoriously proprietary and unable to collaborate with any other product out there.

Furthermore, Skatteverket is complaining that their current system is way too expensive. Well of course it is, since you stupid bastards are paying through your nose for way more products than you need:
  • Microsoft Office 2003 för ordbehandling, presentationer och kalkyler.
  • Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server för dokumenthantering och delar av intranätet.
  • Senselogic Sitevision som content management system.
  • Lotus Notes/Domino för brev, kalender, rumsbokning och intranät. Ska migreras till Microsoft Exchange och MOSS.
  • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 för chat och enklare videokonferens.
As far as I know, new versions of Lotus Notes include Lotus Symphony which is an office product based on OpenOffice.org. That would enable any sane organization to throw out at least most of the MS Office licenses, and save a lot of money there. The product can also be downloaded separately, and completely free of charge, so users can install it at home as well.

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 seems like complete overkill if all they need it for is "simple video conferencing". After all, a limited Sametime license is included with Lotus Notes, so they already have chat and awareness included in their Lotus licenses.

And do they need both Domino and Sharepoint for their intranet? I'm sure they could get cheaper Domino licenses if they only used it for mail (which is complete insanity if you ask me, but still...), and not for applications. Or they could use Domino for document management and the intranet, and skip those Sharepoint licenses. Either way a lot of money could be saved.

So, dear Swedes, this is where your tax money ends up. Down the drain. I just hope that Microsoft-sponsored all-inclusive family vacation to the Maldives was worth it for whoever made this astonishingly ignorant decision.

E-delegationen ska i sitt arbete sträva efter att den offentliga förvaltningens e-tjänster i så stor utsträckning som möjligt ska bygga på öppna standarder, använda sig av programvara som bygger på öppen källkod samt sträva efter lösningar som stegvis frigör förvaltningen från beroendet av enskilda plattformar och lösningar.


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