Chins collectively hit the floor this afternoon, as word got round that the Information Commissioner’s Office had paid £585 for the creation of a single 32×32 ‘favicon’ graphic. Oh, and to be fair to them, adding a line to their pages’ HTML header referencing it.
Mark Bowen used WhatDoTheyKnow to follow up a reference he’d spotted in a document published by the ICO, which doesn’t exactly leave any room for doubt:
His enquiry revealed that the work was done by Reading Room, commissioned through COI. In their defence, ICO say:
The work needed to put the favicon live was complicated by an old environment (which has since been updated) that caused issues and extended the time taken to carry out the work… Whilst there is no recorded information which would [explain the difference between the old environment and the new one that caused the extended time needed] I can confirm that that the old website development environment was upgraded from one server to two.
… which, on the face of it, wouldn’t seem to have caused any direct ‘issue’ when it came to sticking a graphic in a given folder.
But we shouldn’t rush to any rash judgments here. Yes, favicons shouldn’t normally take more than 5 minutes (as Mark notes) to produce. And yes, adding a standard line of HTML to reference it should be basic copy-and-paste… if it’s even necessary, which it usually isn’t. But we don’t know the full facts. Yet. The ball’s in your court, RR.