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July 6, 2010

Government mobile apps money wastage revealed

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by Darren Allan

With the new austerity budget bedding into the UK, and the prospect of rises such as 2.5% slapped on VAT, we all have to get used to the fact that the piper needs to be paid, and the debt hangover faced.

And the banks bailed out, no questions asked, naturally. So in these upcoming hard times (for everyone who isn’t a financial institution), a nice story about the powers-that-be blowing money is probably just what you want to hear.

Apparently, government bodies have been busy frittering away a fair bit of money on dubious apps for mobile phones.

The BBC discovered, via a freedom of information request, that the government has been developing apps costing between £10,000 and £40,000 to implement.

One project was an app to help job seekers find gainful employment – although critics have questioned how many of those out of work will be able to afford a mobile contract, particularly an iPhone one.

The BBC also unearthed a DVLA Motoring Masterclass app, which was designed to provide extensive tuition in how to change a tyre, amongst other bits and pieces. This was one of the most expensive efforts with a £40,000 budget.

The DVLA told the BBC that the app could save them money, as there were also plans to allow motorists to renew their car tax through it, which would save on posting out reminders. Development of the app has now been put on hold, however.

Then there’s the NHS drinking app which cost ten grand, and helps people track their drinking. Using the ten green bottles song, perhaps?

The apps under development by the Home Office weren’t revealed due to them being a matter of national security, apparently. So Lord knows how much they cost.

We should point out that we presume these various projects were initiated by the last government, not the current coalition, given the short length of time they’ve been in power thus far.

Although we don’t doubt that they too will find ever more inventive ways of wasting tax payer’s hard earned readies, such as having their moats cleaned.

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1 Comment »
  1. “One project was an app to help job seekers find gainful employment – although critics have questioned how many of those out of work will be able to afford a mobile contract, particularly an iPhone one.”

    My wife has frequently commented on how many unemployed people she sees around with expensive mobile phones glued to their ears (or even texting whilst crossing the road). It seems not being able to afford one does not stop them from having one.

    Comment by L — July 6, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

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