Well, it’s all spin at the Scottish Government as they memo the whole team in email view of the top management.
The memo can be found here – ISD Update – 3 December 2015, and we’ve applied our ‘reading between the lines’ to what they have to say…
On Wednesday evening we deployed code that resolved a number of App Proc 3A defects and we are now starting to re-validate against Rule Set 001.
This is interesting since the deployed code did not resolve all the App Proc 3A defects, only a number of them. Furthermore, we are informed that Rule Set 001 deals with validating SAF applications. In other words, if our sources are correct – then they are still having problems entering a SAF – let along processing one.
Area Office staff will be working on Sunday to process applications – this activity will add further cases to the ‘clean pot’
Don’t let the wording here confuse you. This is not processing payments – this is processing applications according to our sources. Indeed, where they refer to a clear pot (or clean pot), they appear to be referring to a clear pot of saved applications.
So, in other words, reading between the lines, The Cabinet Secretary has stated that 25% of claimants will receive 70% of their payment by the end of December, however they need a clear pot of saved SAF Applications in order to allow this number of payments to be made – and they don’t even have that yet!
To put it another way, £200million pounds in and they haven’t managed to save a single SAF Application successfully enough to be able to process payments for that SAF?!!
The next stage is for cases in the ‘clean pot’ to proceed to App Proc 3B, Reductions and Exclusions. The BPS part of 3B has cleared UAT, however, the Greening part has not yet entered UAT.
In other words, we have the capability to apply exclusions but not to pay SAF Greening.
Now, in order to speed up payments, it appears that they intend to Send clean cases through the BPS element of App Proc 3B (without Greening) – so if you have Greening, you’re not even going to be included this year?
What is most concerning about all this is that, in order to process payments they intend to ‘frig’ the system. But as they have already stated – the aim being to clear the errors that had been caused by the defects – frigging the system creates errors, bypassing processes creates errors, and by errors – we mean corrupt data; and corrupt data needs to be repaired.
But with such a complex system, they’ve already eluded to the fact that it can’t be repaired – instead they have to re-enter the applications: we are now starting to re-validate against Rule Set 001. According to our sources, Rule Set 001 is a set of rules that are used to validate applications. So, if they are re-validating applications – they are re-entering them.
So, who is going to get paid? Well, 7,000 of a possible 20,000 cases are being picked up for entitlement calculation. So, as far as December deadlines are concerned, 13,000 farmers aren’t even going to get their entitlements processed. In other words, only one in 3 farmers is going to get anything this year – and that is only if they can create a clear/clean pot of saved SAF applications.
Oh, and look – A number of our colleagues have joined Paul xxx, James xxx and Stephen xxx on a visit to DEFRA in Reading. They are considering whether DEFRA’s LPIS solution is likely to meet our needs – so, £200million pounds in and they’re talking about using the English system instead?
Finally, Recruitment campaigns to address shortages of Business Analysts, Solution Architects and Developers continue. But they sacked all the Business Analysts, Solution Architects and Developers in order to flood the place with Tier 2 migrants and ICTs. Now, as it becomes apparent that the farmers aren’t going to get paid, MPs are calling for a Public Inquiry, they suddenly realise that sacking people who knew the system inside out was probably not a good idea.
Here’s the problem. New software architects and business analysts can’t just pick up and fix everything – they need to understand the thinking and rationale that was used to get the system to where it is – and if this bunch of idiot management have already let them go, then that process can’t happen.
Indeed, a recent email from the ICT Head of Divisional Management apparently reported that they needed to restart a contractor they had let go, because they couldn’t do without him?
Whichever idiot agreed to let this bunch manage such an important project needs his or her head testing.