Government claims £300m saved from IT costs

The Cabinet Office has claimed that Whitehall has cut millions of pounds from departmental costs, including £300 million from day-to-day IT expenditure and much more from large contracts including technology.

Some £1.16 billion has reportedly been saved by the government renegotiating deals with its biggest suppliers, a large number of which are understood to provide technology, as well as from centralising procurement. It has not provided more specific details of the source of the savings.

Additionally, £150 million has been saved by halting or ‘rescoping’ large projects, many of which are IT-related. In recent months, the government has reduced the scope of the disastrous £11.4 billion NHS National Programme for IT, as well as cancelling the failing e-Borders immigration and Fire Service FireControl projects.

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Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the figures had been independently audited. The savings form part of a total of £3.75 billion cut from expenditure, including on other areas such as property and agency staff.

“That’s £3.75 billion of tax-payers money that would have been frittered away: on renting buildings that just weren’t necessary; on advertising government projects to the very tax payers that are paying for them,” he said.

The government would “continue to seek out and eradicate waste”, he insisted.