Feeds

Outsourcing overruns cost UK taxpayers £9bn

No surprise, there

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A think tank has called for 'root and branch change' in public services, following its damning report on ICT outsourcing

Research by the European Services Strategy Unit shows that 105 outsourced public sector ICT contracts have significant cost overruns, delays and terminations.

The unit examined large outsourcing contracts, PPPs, PFIs and strategic service delivery partnerships in central government, the health service, local authorities, public bodies and agencies over the last 10 years.

It found that cost overruns amounted to £9bn for the 105 projects, with an average percentage cost overrun of 30.5 per cent. It also revealed that 30 per cent of contracts were terminated and more than half (57 per cent) had cost overruns.

The main ICT companies with contract cost overruns, delays and terminations, according to the research are EDS (13 contracts); Liberata (eight contracts); Fujitsu and IBM (six each); Accenture, Atos Origin, Capita, ITNet (now Serco) and Siemens (five each) and BT (four).

Many reports by the Public Accounts Committee, the National Audit Office and other organisations have tried to explain these problems, says the unit. But it also says these findings rarely get to the root of the problem because they focus almost exclusively on the procurement process.

It says that clearly some of the problems encountered by ICT projects are a result of over-ambition, a lack of design and development before procurement, and pressures for efficiency savings overtaking the ability to deliver. The technical complexity of ICT projects is also often undeestimated, it says.

Dexter Whitfield, the author of the report said: "The scope of the failures is shocking. The remedies do not lie in tinkering with the procurement process but with root and branch change in the modernisation of public services.

"The government's commitment to commissioning and contestability does not address any of the fundamental causes and will only make matters worse for ICT projects in the next decade."

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.