Government waves cutlass at IT budget
Treasury minister Yvette Cooper yesterday announced a plan to look for wide-ranging cost cuts in government budgets.
Martin Read, the government's Chief Information Officer, will look for savings in back office and IT spending. Other strands include collaborative procurement, asset management, sales and property.
Read, ex-CEO of Logica, said the government should look to the private sector for lessons in cutting costs by between 10 and 50 per cent.
Back office functions will be scrutinised, including finance, human resources, administration, legal services, travel services and marketing and communications. It will also look at other corporate services within other agencies like the NHS and local government.
The programme will also look at standardising and simplifying common IT processes, such as finance, in order to reduce costs.
It will attempt to improve the success rate of big government IT projects by better defining projects, running them more efficiently and improving skills of the senior staff in charge. Procurement costs will also be improved. Additionally, the government will extend the use of benchmarking and best-practice standards.
The proposals will be delivered in time for the 2009 Budget. The programme will build on claimed savings of £30bn made by the Comprehensive Savings Review. Yvette Cooper's statement is here. ®
How will this improve security?
Now, instead of the government losing data on half the country through incompetance, it intends to do so by cost-cutting.
How about this for an idea?
Instead of giving my money to some fat bastard running a sweat shop to make a profit, how about doing it yourselves using competent staff?
Martin Read + Government CIO
I thought John Suffolk was HM CIO, and that Martin Read was doing a review at Treasury...http://www.cio.gov.uk/about_the_council/council_members.asp
It was called the CCTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Computer_and_Telecommunications_Agency).
It worked very well, and saved the government a lot of money.
The IT industry, lead by CSC, lobbied for it to be closed down, because it was 'unfairly competing with private industry, and taking 'their' government consultancy jobs'.
So it was. A few useless fragments remain, but it no longer drives government computing. However, a lot of companies are now a lot richer...
One interesting item of forgotten CCTA history is that during Maggie's reign there was an increase in football hooliganism and violence. One political proposal was to issue all supporters with an ID card - The Home Office wanted ID cards even in those days. CCTA Security and Privacy Group shot the idea down technically, and saved us from making that huge mistake then. Pity they're no longer here...