Wednesday, May 02, 2007

42 Million Ways to Waste Money

42, as we know, is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, but the big problem has always been - "but what is the question?" The Australian Government is about to spend $42 million on upgrading its website to allow users to create their own personal accounts and be able to log into them (see Feds to Spend $42m on website). It's an incredible amount of money, especially in an election year where the whole country's future hangs in a delicate balance. Big spending and overspending by governments is nothing new, but the sheer scale of this plan has me in awe.

For a start, let's get down to the basics - anyone with half a brain, PHP MyAdmin and a completely free webpage design program like iWeb can design and put online a website with personalised accounts. Add a couple of hundred dollars for web hosting and you've got everything the government just announced, for less than $1,000, including the time it took to do. That's $41,999,000 under-budget, and that's designing a site from scratch, not upgrading an existing one.

Let's look at the sort of hardware that kind of money could buy. For $42 million, you could buy:
93,541 500Gb hard drives.
352,941 ipod Nano's.
4,242,4242 music tracks from
28,000 top of the line PC's.
3,112 brand new Toyota Yaris cars.

You can never expect to get best value out of the tax you pay, but paying $42,000,000 for a job that should only cost $1,000? C'mon, Australia, and especially our politicians - WAKE UP.

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