Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Civil Service Awards 2013 – rarest bug

Whereas DMossEsq normally tries to entertain all his millions of readers at once, this post is highly technical and may only appeal to the computer programmers, book-keepers and legal draftsmen among you.

The only game in town, all attention recently has been on this year's Civil Service awards:
The Civil Service Awards, now in their eighth year, celebrate and promote innovation and creativity across government. They are a unique way of rewarding and thanking civil servants for outstanding achievements.
Awards have been made in 17 categories:
  • The Analysis and Use of Evidence Award
  • The Communication Award
  • The Employee Engagement and Skills Award
  • The Dame Lesley Strathie Award for Operational Excellence
  • The Growth Award
  • The Policy Award
  • The Project and Programme Management Award
  • The Procurement Award
  • The Innovative Delivery Award
  • The International Award
  • The Professional of the Year Award
  • The Leadership Award
  • Excellence in Civil Service Reform Award
  • Diversity & Equality Award
  • The Head of the Civil Service Award
  • PAC Award for Outstanding Value for Money
  • PAC Award for most Improved Government Body
Innovative delivery? Leadership? Excellence in Civil Service Reform? How many awards would the Government Digital Service win, we were all wondering?

None.

Perhaps with GDS's declared policy of "routing round" Whitehall, Whitehall has decided now to "route round" GDS?

Maybe the awards committee thought that GDS hadn't done anything for the past 12 months.

Who knows?

The awards link above is to the civilservice.gov.uk beta website and GDS still get their name in anyway because, bottom left, it says: "This site is provided by GDS. In comment sections we ask that you stick to our [sichouse rules. Where opinions or assumptions are expressed, these represent the views of the individual and not necessarily those of the government.".

GDS have their standard cookies warning message under the content, and a "Don't show this message again" button, bottom right.

Press the button and the cookies message should disappear, leaving the screen otherwise unchanged. The cookies message does, indeed, disappear but a completely different page of content is then displayed:
The Prime Minister joined us at the truly inspirational Civil Service Awards. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every winner. Hearing the stories behind each award was stirring and it brought home to us the tireless effort – both team and individual – that goes into delivering exceptional public services.
is replaced with
Nominations for the Civil Service Awards are now closed ... We received over 500 great examples of Civil Service excellence, thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate ...See whose [sic] made the shortlist at http://awards.civilserviceworld.com/civil-service-awards/shortlist
That's a bug.

Not only that, but the address has changed and if you go back to the old address the cookies message is still there despite the user telling it to go away.

That's a mistake. A mistake not made by any other professional expert web developer in the world. Probably. If only there had been an eighteenth category, a Rarest Bug category, GDS might have won an award after all.

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