Spending Controls Squeeze £140 Million From Government ICT Spend

Channel News

A more stringent procurement process is cutting the amount the government is spending, says Francis Maude

The government says it will have saved £140 million this financial year as a result of more stringent rules on ICT expenditure.

The saving is part of a combined £5 billion reduction in government spending expected this year, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

Cost-cutting strategy

New tougher controls on ICT procurement are cited as a key reason behind the £140m figure, with any significant expenditure requiring a thorough business case to prove any improvements are ‘necessary to bring government in line with standard business practices’.

“Our new business-like approach and steely determination to get value for taxpayers’ money means we now expect to make £5 billion in cash savings by the time this financial year is out,” said Maude in a statement. “For the first time, like any large business, we now have an effective operations centre at the heart of government – one that will keep delivering savings for the taxpayer year after year.”

Over £3 billion is reported to have already been saved through various efficiency and reform measures across the government, with the Cabinet Office targeting a £1.25bn increase on the total £3.75 billion saved last year.

Last October, Maude unveiled a broad government ICT cost-cutting strategy which emphasised cloud computing, open source technologies and green IT. The Strategic Implementation Plan also set out plans for the G-Cloud project, which opened today, and ways to optimise expenditure using small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative was also recently announced by Liam Maxwell, director of ICT Futures at the Cabinet Office, as a cash-saving measure.

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