And when a project has some incentive (often financial penalty when deadline are not respected), company will give unrealistic deadlines to win the contract and then just run the penalty has normal cost of the projects.
I know some project that had years of delay and were still profitable for the private company.
Obviously it's not always the case, but having work for both a state owned company contracting private contractor and for a private contractor seeking public contract, it has certainly made me not optimistic about any projects funded by public money.
Most contracts are cookie cutter templates, so everyone is familiar with them and lawyers don't need to be called in to create bespoke solutions for every project. There are various options if fixed-priced or cost-plus is desired, and pre-agreed schedule is decided on so that payments only go out at specific milestones.
Can anyone from the UK comment on the pros/cons of the system?
Solves many, many problems and gets people working in collaboration. As a contractor I need to know the clients goals and as a client I need to help make the contract profitable.
All pros - no cons from me.
Not directly related but comical to me, I recently heard from someone working with IBM that they are really upset over the calls from Washington to regulate big tech. Upset because they aren’t mentioned by politicians or the media as big tech. It’s almost like they don’t really matter anymore.
To be fair, most of the calls concern American big tech companies. Not sure IBM qualifies anymore.
There was even a project handle by Sopra-Steria that went so awry that even the Government said stop and went on to continue using their old solution. For them to do that takes a loooot of screwing up. Nevertheless, they were still contracted for other projects afterward :) .
Everyone has a concern or an area they take over. There's a reason most power structures end up with a single person being the decision maker. For better or worse, it seems there needs to be one person who is responsible for busting everyone's chops and asking the hard questions.
I've seen this psychology play out even in small non-profits where everyone has good intentions.
Secondly, yes, most contractor focus on money, not really doing the best job they can (I mean, in many way, the fire is a proof of this).
I work for, arguably, one of the most critical French industry. One that France rely on for security and, somewhat, energy. Some of the worker were proud of doing something for their country, but the decision from higher-ups were purely financial. And it is what is expected from them to be honest.
I specifically said I wasn’t disputing the claim in general, only the extent to which a contractor would risk it like this in a high-profile case.