NAO report: Government has cut IT spend by £316m but more effort needed

By Sooraj Shah
23 Jan 2013 View Comments
National Audit Office

On the impact of government reforms on supplier relationships, the NAO held discussions with ICT suppliers in August 2012, and found that on balance, participants were less positive about the new approach than in 2011.

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"The suppliers we spoke to in 2012 felt frustrated by the slow pace of change and the lack of innovation being shown by departments. They felt that departments were focusing on cost-cutting rather than exploring opportunities for redesigning services; for example by putting services online as part of the Digital by Default agenda," the report said.

In response to the report, a Cabinet Office spokesman said that the government was pleased with the recognition that the NAO has given it on its efforts to reduce costs, but also recognised that there is much more work for government to do.

"Because ICT spending was so wasteful in the past, we also know that there is still a long way to go. We must accelerate the pace of change. That's why we are determined to fully open up government ICT to smaller, more innovative companies, and to embrace open source technology," he said.

"As we reform the civil service, the government has committed to providing 'digital-by-default' services designed around the needs of the user, as set out in its digital strategy and the departmental digital strategies published at the end of last year. This April, the digitisation of the first wave of public services will begin, saving an estimated £1.2bn by 2015," he added.

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