The Office of Government Commerce has no public remit to develop the ITIL methodology and needs to open the market for PRINCE2 project guidance, according to a report by the Office of Public Sector Information.
OPSI, which is part of the National Archives and is responsible for Crown Copyright, said that the OGC does not have the mandate to produce and develop ITIL. It noted in its report that ITIL addressed ongoing IT service management issues, but the OGC is geared instead towards "procurement, project and programme management".
In the report, OPSI said that the OGC had "stated unambiguously that it had no policy remit in the area of IT service management". It added that "this begs the question as to why it sponsors the proprietary service management guides".
The concept of service catalogues, which lie at the heart of the ITIL methodology, is likely to be of increasing importance as organisations try to develop private clouds and drive down IT costs.
But ITIL appears only in "sub-pages" on the OGC website, OPSI said, and is not a "core" responsibility and therefore "does not form part of OGC's public task".
There are suggestions that the report may not constitute a final and definitive position on ITIL, and an Information Fair Trader verification will take place later this year. But OPSI's stated findings are nevertheless unambiguous.
The comments come in an investigation report on a complaint by Van Haren, a specialist publisher of project and IT service management guides. In the report, OPSI concluded that the OGC needs to open the market for PRINCE2 project methodology guidance.
The OGC had wrongly given its own publisher, The Stationery Office (TSO), substantial advantages over others, OPSI said.
The OGC, which advises government departments on procurement, was told it needs to review the terms under which its own contracts are let, even allowing rival publishers a fixed embargo period to prepare books on the subject, before the OGC releases its own.
It acknowledged that PRINCE is a core role for OGC, because the body is focused on government projects and PRINCE has become the "standard" government project methodology. But it ordered the changes to PRINCE2 publishing within six months, in order to make the market fairer.
An OGC spokesperson said that the office "continues to operate the delegation of licensing rights from the Office of Public Sector Information in accordance with their rules".
"We have already implemented a number of the recommendations made within the report and are confident that we will put into action the remaining recommendations by the deadline."