Government claims £450 million IT savings

Francis Maude gives himself and the Government a pat on the back for impressive savings.

Francis Maude

The Government saved 450 million in IT between May 2010 and March 2011, minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has claimed.

By "halting or curtailing spending" the Government managed to save 150 million. Another 300 million was saved by "applying greater scrutiny" to IT expenditure.

Departments have stopped or reduced spend on low value IT initiatives, Maude said.

He claimed the Government had achieved overall 3.75 billion cash savings. Last year, Maude promised to "leave no stone unturned" in the quest to find areas where the Government could cut back.

"To put 3.75 billion into context, it's equivalent to the salaries of 200,000 junior nurses; or 150,000 secondary school teachers; it could pay for several Whitehall departments; and it's about the same as the revenue derived from one penny of the basic rate of income tax," Maude said.

"This is just scratching the surface of what we have planned for the coming months and years. We will continue to seek out, and eradicate waste in government, whilst also delivering longer term programmes of reform to ensure sustainable change and room for growth across the public sector."

The Government was recently slammed for its profligacy with IT projects. The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) said it had found certain cases where departments had spent 3,500 on a desktop.

A PASC report claimed there was an "over-reliance on a small number of large suppliers," whilst small and medium-sized IT contractors, which "tend to be less risk adverse and more innovative," were virtually excluded.

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