A REPORT FROM the Comptroller and Auditor General John Purcell has criticised the Irish employment authority Fás for failing to achieve value for money in its dealings with its web design agency. The website project, a new Jobs Ireland portal, provides functions that were already being supplied by existing systems.
In monthly sessions at Irish Open Coffee, we exchange views and offer sanity checks to small businesses thinking about building a sophisticated online presence. Last week, I recommended a new start-up reduce its web development outgoings by €3000 and divert that grant-aided line into Google Adwords. Last year, I attended a regional meeting where the Jobs Ireland site was profiled but at that meeting, peer reviews were untolerated.
At the very least, I think State agencies should seek professional reviews of their commissioned work and not wait for the Auditor General to review the results. In the case of Jobs Ireland, "the website cost €1.7m and an audit suggested it may have cost €1m more than it should have." 
1. Colm Keena -- "Comptroller's Report Slates Fás for failing to get value for money" in The Irish Times, 10 May 2008.
2. Sent mail-to-blog by Nokia E90 using O2-Ireland 3G service on the M7.