Feeds

MPs claim IT supply savings

Whitehall saves taxpayer cash

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Whitehall has acted on the recommendations of a parliamentary committee by improving services and value for money, according to its chair.

Edward Leigh, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said the government's response to recommendations in the committee's 16 most recent reports has resulted in action by Whitehall departments and savings for the taxpayer.

"HM Revenue and Customs is acting to cut the running costs of its IT systems and is dealing more rigorously with its IT suppliers," Leigh said.

"The Office of Government Commerce has signalled its intention to get better value from the vast sums the government spends on external advisers, and primary care trusts are using electronic rostering to improve the management information they need to employ temporary nursing staff cost-effectively."

Leigh said he was particularly pleased to see that hundreds of thousands of children will benefit from improved methods by the Child Support Agency to calculate and collect maintenance payments.

The committee's last report on the agency concluded that it had been "one of the greatest public administration disasters of recent times".

IT problems at the agency had resulted in a backlog of 239,000 cases, with an additional 36,000 new cases stuck in the system.

According to Leigh, the CSA is now taking steps to improve its methods for calculating and collecting maintenance payments. The number of cases in receipt of maintenance is reported to have increased from 385,000 in March 2005 to 486,000 cases by June 2007, benefiting about 660,000 children.

The committee has prompted HM Revenue and Customs to reduce IT running costs and to set more rigorous targets for the delivery of IT projects by its suppliers. The department is also tackling VAT Missing Trader Fraud by improving the way it exchanges information with other EU member states.

The Office of Government Commerce has launched a programme to improve the value for money from on external consultants, said Leigh. It is also working with the Cabinet Office's Transformational Government Team to exercise tougher scrutiny and oversight over all high risk and mission critical IT enabled programmes and projects.

The government's central procurement arm, OGCbuying.solutions, has now been set a tougher target to save £1bn a year by 2010-11, compared with £500m in 2006-07.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.