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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5498/730000-lines-of-unusable-code/

730,000 lines of unusable code

August 22, 2006 by

That’s how the Washington Post describes the FBI’s new software,the Virtual Case File (VCF), which cost the agency $170 million. Come to think of it, 730,000 lines of unusable code is a pretty good description of the whole government. In any case, the agency still has no viable alternative to its paper files. Or there’s Google.

{ 7 comments }

quincunx August 22, 2006 at 8:15 am

I wonder how many Americans believe their government can do all those neat things we see on 24 and Alias?

Good thing human imagination always surpasses government competence.

Phil R August 22, 2006 at 11:15 am

Do you have a source for the $170,000 million figure, or is it just a typo? All other reports I’ve seen show it at $170 million, which is bad enough as it is.

billwald August 22, 2006 at 11:24 am

Seems like that over the last several years every govt, state, and county agency has spent millions for software that doesn’t work.

jeffrey August 22, 2006 at 11:26 am

Whoops, whoops, typo. Fixed

Francisco Torres August 22, 2006 at 11:54 am

Good grief . . . Aan example of how NOT to manage a project.

And people still think the government should manage a whole economy???

Curt Howland August 22, 2006 at 2:50 pm

“every govt, state, and county agency has spent millions for software that doesn’t work.”

[Chortle] Windows! Don’t worry, everything will work fine after they pay for the next version upgrade.

Seriously, I’m not sure why anyone is surprised. The project is just too big to manage even ineffectively. Remember that bureaucracy becomes more inefficient as the project grows in size.

A larger budget to buy another computer system? More staff for running the new system? Sounds like a textbook bureaucratic “success” to me.

Tim Swanson August 22, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Speaking of the State largesse and Google, you all might be interested in this case-study of how Google revitalized the capabilities of the National Park Service… who was using that ineffective FirstGov service.

Though, I guess that would be like replacing government-issued gun powder with nitroglycerin in bombs. Sure it might be more effective/efficient… but the service is still living off of tax subsidies.

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