Madeleine Moon, Labour MP for Bridgend, has today commented on the refusal of multiple government departments to reveal how many of their staff hold degrees in computer science.
In the wake of the fiasco over the new procurement of the new ICT system at the Department for Work and Pensions, and the rise in concern over cyber attacks, Mrs Moon asked every government department to reveal how many PhDs, master’s and undergraduate degrees in computing and computer science that their staff hold.
Various government departments, including the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Foreign Office, all refused to reveal who in their employment holds a degree in computer science. As such, it is impossible to tell whether or not these departments have any experts in computers working with them. This means we cannot be certain of their response to cyber attack, and we cannot be wholly confident that any future ICT procurements will not end in massive wastes of taxpayer money.
Several departments, including the Ministry for Justice and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, claimed that it would take too much money to find out who in their employment held degrees in computer science. Government departments either do not hold the relevant information, or it may be that they do not want to reveal their lack of graduates in this field.
The only departments to answer the question were International Development, which revealed it employed five members of staff with degrees in computer science, and the Ministry of Defence, which said it employed a total of 340.
Mrs Moon said, “It is incredible that while two departments were able to supply this information, almost every other government department was incapable of doing so. It is perhaps no wonder that there are so many problems with IT procurement in government when departments can’t even tell us how many of their staff hold degrees in computer science. With the threat of cyber attack growing, this is something that I would have thought government departments would have been keen to reassure us over. ”
For more information contact:
Madeleine Moon MP
Member of Parliament for Bridgend
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Sam Mannion: (0207 219 0814) firstname.lastname@example.org