The Treasury has responded to claims of a £1-billion IT project overspend from the Liberal Democrats by pledging to be more efficient in execution.

The defence made by chief Treasury secretary Stephen Timms yesterday, was widely reported in advance of an upcoming government Comprehensive Spending Review, which will set out the savings it intends to make to achieve a 3% reduction in pubic spending.

He was reported as saying that, while underfunding IT projects was no longer a problem, efficiency could be improved. “There will be an increase in public spending, which will put a new premium on efficiency. It's essential that we improve public services, and manage that to tightly constrained budgets," he told ZDNet UK.

The Liberal Democrats claimed Monday that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was the biggest overspender by £785m, alongside the likes of the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) and the National Health Service (NHS).