The government is asking its 20 largest suppliers, which includes IT outsourcers, to cut the price of their services to the public sector.

At a conference organised by think-tank Reform yesterday, Frances Maude, the minister for the Cabinet Office, said he would be holding a meeting with suppliers today to renegotiate with them "everything they do for the government" in a bid to cut government spend and the UK deficit.

According to the Financial Times, Maude will be negotiating with suppliers such as HP, BT, IBM and Serco, following which he will hold meetings with suppliers such as Siemens, Capgemini and Steria to discuss how to make long-term savings as well.

"We will say we want to have something off your margins; we will expect you to tell us how we can pay you less, sometimes for doing less," Maude told the conference.

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Fujitsu and BT have confirmed that they will be attending the meeting, with BT saying that a senior executive from BT would be there to "respectfully listen to what the minister has to say."

Georgina O'Toole, analyst at TechMarketView, said that the meeting "won't come as any surprise" to the suppliers involved as Maude's intention has already been previously announced.

In addition to the above suppliers, TechMarketView believes that Capita will also be at the meeting.

In May, the coalition government pledged to cut £3 billion from annual spending on IT programmes, consultancy and property, with more details expected to be announced in this autumn's Spending Review.

To this end, the Ministry of Defence has recently cancelled a contract tender for IT consultancy services worth £141 million.