IT Cut Backs Saved £1 Billion
Cuts in ICT spending have helped the coalition government make £1 billion worth of efficiency savings since May 2010, the Cabinet Office has revealed.
Half of the £1 billion was made through a moratorium on consulting, ICT, recruitment, marketing and property spending, with more than £400 million coming from halting major projects, such as ID cards. The government has said it hopes to save a total of £3 billion during its first year in power.
"This government is leaving no stone unturned in cutting unnecessary and excessive expenditure to protect jobs and the frontline services on which people depend," said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
The Cabinet Office has also published details of all government ICT projects worth more than £1 million, as part of its policy of transparency. More than two thirds (35 per cent) of those under review are at the Department for Work and Pensions, with 12 per cent at the Home Office and 12 per cent at the Department for Transport.
Maude said this reform programme has required a culture change in government. "As Sir Philip Green pointed out, the quality of basic management information that government has previously collected is appalling," he said. "Robust data is the foundation of government acting in a more business-like manner and operating as efficiently as possible."
As part of the specific measures around ICT, the government has been renegotiating contracts with large vendors, signing 'memorandums of understanding' in an effort to cut costs. HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Atos Origin and Capgemini have all signed, as well as several other big name IT services firms.
"We set ourselves a difficult challenge," said Maude back in September. "Renegotiating contracts in this way had never been done by government before. But, the current financial situation meant there was simply no time to waste."
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