There’s been a long-running saga regarding the use of a website with which junior doctors are forced to apply for the medical specialisations they will remain in for the rest of their working lives. Not only has the government screwed up by actually banning the site from knowing, you know, the qualifications of the applicant, but this website is horrendously designed, known to be somewhat crashy, and it turns out is full of security holes. Channel Four have been revealing one a day.
So it’s only the latest in the long-running saga of this government using unaccountable independent contractors to do the IT work that the Civil Service should be doing and getting kicked in the balls again and again and again – as if the various disasters at the Child Support Agency, EDS’s NHS cash-sink, the tax credits system, the Passport Agency and much much more never counted for anything at all. The contractors responsible for this, according to the Google cache of the MTAS site, are “Methods Consulting Ltd and Jobsite UK (Worldwide) Ltd”; Methods’ website is, surprise surprise, flashy and devoid of content.
This is funny. The situation, however, is not – there’s no other way to apply for a training post now other than to use MTAS, despite the fact that it would probably be easier and cheaper for everyone to go back to writing a hundred different covering letters. Sad, isn’t it?
Update: And you can’t blame Microsoft for this either… Apache 1.3.37 on Linux. Just to show that you can screw up anything on any operating system. Oddly, the site appears to be hosted on the contractor’s own netblock rather than a UK government one, which I would have thought would be a no-no for anything sensitive like, you know, NHS job applications, but hey…