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Conservatives want big IT deals delayed

Shadow minister calls for 'moratorium on contracts'

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Shadow minister Francis Maude has asked the cabinet secretary to postpone the signing of important IT contracts until after the election.

In a letter to Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Office shadow Maude added that a minister must justify any cases where the government decides it must go ahead with a new deal.

The Conservative Party is concerned about recent big deals signed by the Department for Work and Pensions, the renegotiation of contracts for the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) and the possible signing of a £1bn logistics deal by the Ministry of Defence.

"A moratorium on contracts should be standard practice in the run-up to a general election," said a spokesperson

Stephen Roberts, principal analyst at Kable, said: "The six-week shut down in the run-up to an election is already a hindrance to procurement planning.

"While Maude's concerns about politicised issues such as the NPfIT are understandable, it would be a shame if there was further delay to pressing but uncontroversial Whitehall procurements such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's telecommunications replacement, the shared service procurement for the Ministry of Justice and the consolidation proposals at Communities and Local Government."

This article was originally published at Kable.

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