Thursday, January 16, 2014

SAM - not fit for purpose?

The sorry saga of Great Britain's struggle with successive governmental non-policies for the eradication of zTuberculosis can be, or could have been, tracked by a glance at the statistics which Defra / AHVLA produce(d) monthly.
 But thanks to a new, state of the art, multi million £££ computer system with the acronym 'SAM' these are once again suspended and up for investigation.

As we reported in this posting, - [link] taking over from the 'VetNet' computer system, SAM started his carnage in the autumn of 2011. More chaos and upgrades followed - [link] as we tracked his progress - [link] into 2012.

 Finally, the statisticians and analysts were happy - if AHVLA vets and farmers weren't - and in evidence - [link] to the EFRA committee on the 1st February 2012, AHVLA admitted the chaos 'should never have happened' but would fixed as soon as possible.

And by April 2012, AHVLA statistical analysts were confident - [link] that all was well. Until yesterday, when all TB statistics were again suspended pending yet another revision of input data. - [link]

Farmers Guardian has the full, sad and sorry tale of this monumental cock up.

Meanwhile the multi million £ white elephant known as SAM, having had huge and expensive resources thrown at him and numerous 'upgrades,' is once again acknowledged as being 'not fit for purpose.'
We hear that AHVLA may have to return to their old system of disease monitoring, developed internally in the late 1980s / early 90s by people who actually knew what they were doing.

Computers will only do what they are programmed to do. And based on what appears to duplicated or inaccurate information, SAM is still churning out overdue and penalty notice letters to farmers at a rate of knots, regardless of circumstances.

This data is now linked to the RPA computers - [link] and swinging penalties applied for alleged discretions. But it would appear that this particular computer (SAM) isn't always right.

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