Federation Against Software Theft has a pop at the NHS

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), an organisation which welcomed the Digital Economy Bill with open arms, has wrangled £13,000 out of the NHS’ confused and bloated management on behalf of software vendor Esker.

According to Esker, its SmarTerm 2009 terminal emulation software had been under-licensed. A report was sent to FAST which promptly opened the case and started talking to the NHS Trust hospital in Sheffield. John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, rolled up his sleeves, cracked his knuckles and sneered: “Anyone who thinks that FAST is an organisation without clout needs to think again.”

“This case came to us as a direct result of our recent whistle-blowing campaign and we worked with Sheffield Trading Standards to investigate the claim. The Trust itself worked with us closely to esnure that it rapidly resolved its under licensing issue and paid the outstanding amount in full.”

David Whitam, a director at the Sheffield Trust, was quick to defend this as a very rare blip on the NHS’ otherwise impeccable record with IT contracts: “This was a genuine error which we resolved very quickly as soon as we became aware of the situation.”

To be fair to the trust, he and the hospital probably had absolutely no idea that it had underlicensed the Esker software, as there are on average three billion managers per ward.