COMMONS

MPs to hear evidence on IT and Communications in government

16 May 2011

The Committee of Public Accounts takes evidence on Information and Communications Technology in govenment, on the basis of a report from the National Audit Office

Witnesses

4.00pm, Committee Room 15, Palace of Westminster

  • Ian Watmore, Chief Operating Officer, Efficiency and Reform Group, Cabinet Office
  • Joe Harley, Government Chief Information Officer

Background

The National Audit Office published a review of how government uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to deliver public services.  The review, the purpose of which is to inform the debate about government’s new use of ICT, gives an overview of existing uses, as well as initiatives and changes underway.

It details a number of big challenges the government faces in protecting and improving the value for money of ICT and in ensuring that ICT is deployed fully in the drive to secure sustainable cost reduction.

In response to such challenges and a worsening financial situation, the government has made a number of changes, prominent among which was the formation in June 2010 of the Efficiency and Reform Group that is taking a new approach to securing value for money from ICT.  The Group has been responsible for a number of new initiatives, including the moratorium on central government’s signing new ICT contracts worth more than £1 million without agreement from the Minister for the Cabinet office; a mandatory review of all ICT projects currently underway to identify waste; and a drive to renegotiate contracts with suppliers.

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