Industry figures criticise Whitehall policy to reduce IT projects

Trade slams Government IT spending cuts

The Government’s £95 million IT spending cut has been slammed by members of the trade, who claim short-term investment in IT could provide the public sector with long-term savings.

The cut was announced last month as part of the government’s £6.2 billion savings plan, which also includes axing £1.165 billion of local authority grants.

“Although change programmes and technology have an upfront cost, they can deliver significant savings and efficiencies that could make an appreciable difference to the
Government’s structural deficit over the medium to long-term,” said Sureyya Cansoy, associate director of trade body Intellect, which counts public sector suppliers among its members.

Colin Capewell, group sales director at Stone Group, told PCR: “IT remains an important vehicle for the efficient delivery of services and educational content – the latest power savings that the potential new equipment uses would actually contribute significantly to
lowering energy costs.

Whilst these spending cuts are concerning for Stone as a company wholly dedicated to the public sector, we are confident that we will stand to gain business as people begin to try and save costs and scrutinise the ways in which IT is procured.”

Matthew Barnes, operations director at software asset management firm FAST, whose clients include Government departments, added: “Departments that don’t have solutions in place already will need to make decisions on the basis of what will drive efficiency and optimise their IT expenditure.”

The Government’s spending cuts also include closing Becta, the agency responsible for administering the Home Access Scheme. A spokesperson told PCR that as a budget had already been allocated for the scheme, it was not in jeopardy of closing.

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