Maude makes Government IT spend controls permanent

Big Ben

The stringent IT spending controls the Government introduced as part of its deficit reduction plans in 2010 will not be lifted, the Cabinet Office has confirmed.

The coalition Government introduced temporary spending controls in several areas, including IT, shortly after coming to power in 2010.

Our cross-Whitehall controls on spending have made billions of cash savings for the taxpayer.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced today the spending controls will remain in place and become a "permanent way of life" for the departments involved.

The Government claims the initiative saved it 3.75 billion in 2010/2011 and expects this figure will top 5 billion once the figures for 2011/2012 are audited.

"Our cross-Whitehall controls on spending have made billions of cash savings for the taxpayer, [which is] something that has never been done before," said Maude.

"That is why I'm pleased to confirm our controls will be a permanent feature, helping to change the way the government operates."

To coincide with the announcement, the Government has published an updated version of its spend control guidance to reinforce the permanence of the changes made.

The announcement comes several days after it was claimed the Government has saved 70 million by renegotiating software licensing and support deals with SAP and Microsoft.

Rather than focus on streamlining its arrangements with existing suppliers, Andrew Gilbert, managing director of datacentre provider Node4, said the Government should think about introducing some fresh blood into its supply chain.

"They [need] to embrace the fact there are many high quality suppliers out there who have the ability to provide services [that] are far better value for money," said Gilbert.

"The Government needs to diversify its supply chain and consider companies who operate from a much more competitive cost base."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.