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MoJ plots spending cuts to plug £1.3bn funding gap

IT projects could be sent down

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The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it is considering spending cuts that could possibly affect IT systems.

This follows a report in the Times of discussions on emergency action to fill a £1.3bn funding gap.

It said that officials have identified a series of "quick wins" to recoup big savings that include the axing of computer systems to manage cases in the family and civil courts. These include the Electronic Filing and Document Management System, which would save nearly £46m if dropped.

In response, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson told GC News:

Under the agreement reached in the last Comprehensive Spending Review, it has long been the case that the Ministry of Justice is seeking efficiency savings over the next three years. This was set out in our annual report published some months ago.

This will involve some difficult decisions but ministers are determined that under a prudent programme of savings, we will focus relentlessly on protecting frontline services.

These are the services which provide a justice system which protects the public and provides access to justice. It means protecting court services, gang and knife crime initiatives and support for victims. There are no current plans to close courts, cut funding in gang and knife crime initiatives and proposals for a victims commissioner will be announced shortly.

The Times report said that the MoJ permanent secretary, Suma Chakrabarti, presented the options to a group of senior officials in a confidential slide presentation last month. He warned that several policies could be scrapped and there could be widespread job cuts.

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.

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