RE: another failed attempt at database independence

From: Goulet, Dick <>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 09:26:51 -0400
Message-ID: <>

        Well, I don't know. Having been on the doing side of that, namely as a government representative, the politics of the situation many times over ride sanity. And if the contractor just happens to have the "ear" of some Senator or even worse some one on the President's staff then waste can abound "in the spirit of serving the common good". Which mostly means "throw those guys a bone so that they don't lay off a bunch of people in my home district, or the district of someone I'm watching out for". In a case like that, it doesn't matter what their qualifications are or how unsound their proposal, it gets awarded. Especially if the dollar amount falls below certain limits where sweeping things under the rug are easier. Heck, take a look at all of those no-bid contracts that Haliburton got. Did you even bother to wonder why?? (Think pervious board member now 2M ton gorilla in the room (aka the VP).)

Dick Goulet / Capgemini
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Senior Oracle DBA / Hosting
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-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Gints Plivna Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2008 3:28 AM
Cc:; Niall Litchfield; Subject: Re: another failed attempt at database independence

I don't know the exact process for DoD and in USA as such but assuming it is more or less the same as here theoretically it should be OK. DoD or whatever else governmental agency needs something. They set their requirements and wait for offers explaining how to do that and how it costs and then choose the cheapest one satisfying requirements. Of course in reality there are many caveats in decision process for example requirements are too open, decision process is not completely determined, offer evaluators are simply too stupid to evaluate them properly etc. After the decision has been made there are some opportunities also to mess it all up: including some new requirements, excluding some old, making some changes in budget usually no more than 10% of original budget, and the main problem for governmental agency people is the feeling that it is not money from their pockets, it is tax-payers money i.e. everybody's money which effectively reduces to nobody's money. So in the hands of careless, stupid and/or "determined to spend money for friendly private organization" governmental managers this process of course can be ruined as well as most probably every other process.

Gints Plivna

2008/5/7, Andrew Kerber <>:
> Well, before you go and blame the DoD, blame the process that congress
> them with. Its amazing to me that anything works considering how much
of it
> has to be done by the low bidder. The rule that always gets me is the
> that requires them to sit back and wait for bids, instead of going out
> shop around for the best price/performance. Its entirely possible in
> instance, that someone thought they could save software licensing
fees, and
> instead of going out and looking around and pricing things out to see
> that was indeed the case, they had to write it into the contract and
have it
> bid that way, without knowing if it was a good decision to begin with.
> The DoD is stuck with the rules that congress made for them, and just
> keeping track of them can be a full time job.
> On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 3:03 PM, Rick Ricky <>
> > Here is a newer article, but it does not have any money numbers in
it. I
> checked on it. I belive the $600 million + includes the DoD total
> which include their user acceptance testing, their requirements, and
> management, plus they pay many millions of dollars to a third party
> group to test the applications functionality. I think that is where
> higher number comes from.
> >
> >
> >
> > here is another old one:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Andrew W. Kerber
> 'If at first you dont succeed, dont take up skydiving.'


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Received on Thu May 08 2008 - 08:26:51 CDT

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