Is Fernando In?


150 Hinchey Avenue (centre), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

This morning.

Leaving cert grade coder Polymetrika International Inc, was paid €163,000 by the Department of Education without a tendering process.

Initially awarded a contract worth €71,500, it was paid a further €91,000 at a rate of more than €1,100 a day to help provide coding services for the calculated grades system.

Via The Irish Times;

Polymetrika International Inc is based out of a residential home in Ottawa, according to company records.

The company’s chief executive is Dr Fernando Cartwright, though it is not clear from the firm’s website or other records whether other employees or contractors are based at the address of 150 Hinchey Avenue.

Dr Cartwright has previously been involved in research papers which have involved the Education and Research Centre in Dublin.

He was not available for comment on Thursday when a reporter called to the address.


Firm linked to errors in Leaving Cert results paid €163,000 (irish Times)


28 thoughts on “Is Fernando In?

  1. Mr .T

    Hopefully heads will roll after this – shows up what a mess the procurement rules are in public sector.

    1. Lilly

      It was a terrible decision to cancel the Leaving Cert. They didn’t have time to follow the procurement rules.

      1. Mr .T

        Exactly – they went around the procurement rules just like that. No oversight, no tendering – just give the contract to aul Fernando who has mates in the Dept.

  2. Charger Salmons

    Since when did you need a fancy office to write code ?
    Particularly at this time when almost every major company has people working from home.
    The Irish media is going very parochial these days.
    Local jobs for local coders.We’ll have none of that nonsense here Tubs.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      cant but agree with you, charger

      and add: €1,100 a day isnt anything excessive or unusual (and there are plenty drawing more than that from the public purse and contributing far less)

      although if it’s true that the guy did a poo job, that’s different

      1. V AKA Frilly Keane

        Maybe the requirements given were poo

        Definitely the instructions to apply the lowest non core subjects from the inter
        Which would have included the likes of CSPE FFS

        Imagine CSPE at inter cert common paper level being in the equation for assessing your higher level LC Chemistry grade

        1. SOQ

          Usually in cases like this it is neither the coding nor the requirements which are at fault- it is the QA (Quality Assurance). .

          Software houses usually fall on their QA and expect the client to do it for them. In a normal situation the client then keeps throwing it back at them until they fix the dam thing but in this case, there probably wasn’t the time.

          Either that or the client just never bothered doing their own testing- which is naive to say the least.

          1. Bruncvik

            As a head of QA department for a project for a hardware/software combo that does far more complex data analysis than this, I expect the failure to be either in the specs or QA. Software with such a fundamental flaw should have never been released to a client.

            For specs, QA may still be blamed. I skimmed over the functional analysis document for the project, and it seems to be well written and detailed. I admit that I didn’t pay enough attention to it to understand the nuances (or even see whether I could actually understand it), but that wouldn’t be my job. My job would be to study the technical analysis documentation, which would have been prepared by the product manager, who’d act as an intermediary between the client and the engineers. This document would outline the formulas that would need to be used. So, the specs may have been written wrongly. However, if they were written right, I would have to define testing criteria based on the technical analysis. Had I failed to do that, or had the test criteria been wrong, the problem would have been with the QA team.

            For testing, the blame would be easy to assign to QA. They should have automated tests, with errors they ignored, and they should have records of manual testing. As long as there are formulas to follow, a tester should pick a few random data points and crunch the numbers by hand, for a sanity check. From what I understand here, 20 or so points could have found anomalies (1 in 9 or so was an issue in the real data set). And automated testing would have picked up the issues right away.

            I don’t have any insight in the testing process applied here, but based on my experience, I’d assume the most likely failure was poorly defined test criteria, or the lack of automated testing. Full blame for technical implementation lies with the company. That doesn’t mean the government is free of any blame, though. They acted as a service provider, and as such should have done a second round of end user acceptance testing themselves, but as long as they delivered the correct specs to the company, Polymetrika deserves most of the blame.

          2. SOQ

            Nice one Bruncvik- but as the client’s representative, the buck stops with them. No matter how well a software house assures me of full QA I always do my own and always find issues- the question is how many.

            And the reason for that is when I go to a MD or CEO with a buggy product, he or she doesn’t care where the failure was in the development process, just that it gets fixed- and pronto.

            Quality is king.

      2. JEH

        That actually seems like a pretty fair rate depending on the size of the team. The IT contractors in my office are on 300-700 euro a day each.

      3. GiggidyGoo

        Did he code or was he employed to look over code?
        If he was employed to code, then we shouldn’t be paying for fixing the errors in it.
        There’s more to this than meets the eye. Alexander The Namechanger may be able to shine some light on it once he’s done his research.

  3. goldenbrown

    meh. €1100 pd is a normal B2B contract rate for this type of work. there’s nothing in that aspect particularly.

    also you can perform this kind of work from your bedroom (or more usually get it done from some distant cubicle in Bangalore)

    ’tis funny how easily we can get caught up in the imagery of it being someones gaff on a street as opposed to it being a flashy large 20 storey building in a business park.

    this is a rathole

  4. Mary Brennan

    I’m sure someone in Ireland could have done the job .why are we outsourcing to other countries when we have found time and time again they have made a complete mess .the lads going to university would have done better job

    1. GiggidyGoo

      You’re spot on there. This was a ‘who you know’ effort, and a lazy way out for a pen pusher in de department.

  5. Dufus Quilty

    The ‘Clown-Car’ coalition does it again……and again………and again! Hopefully the wheels will fly off very soon!

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