Feeds

NAO slaps down Cabinet Office gov-IT savings claims AGAIN

Efficiency and Reform Group isn't that efficient, should reform its ways

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

There are lies, damned lies and Cabinet Office statistics which give the impression that the Efficiency and Reform Group are achieving much more dramatic ICT savings than they actually are.

Or so says a National Audit Office report, which again criticised the processes used to calculate how much money Government Digital Services actually spared the taxpayer during fiscal '14 ending March.

The spending watchdog found that Government Digital Services saved £91m in the last financial year. This was less than the Cabinet Office had initially claimed.

GDS operates spending control on certain types of ICT at the business case stage, curbing departmental investment at £5m and digital projects at £100k unless specific approval is sought and agreed.

GDS calculates savings based on cases where it directly "enforces" a change in a project's scope, which cancels or reduces costs. It then compares the revised and approved forecast to the original spend estimates submitted for approval.

"The evidence for savings is hard to follow," said the NAO, "There was uncertainty over some numbers with aspects of the cases still being removed or evidenced well past year-end".

This is the same criticism levelled at the Cabinet Office for fiscal '11/12 when the NAO tore up almost half of the savings claims made by the Cabinet Office due to weaknesses in the data.

The NAO said this time round GDS must ensure it "gathers sufficient robust evidence to support savings claims", because in "many cases, GDS did not calculate savings correctly in accordance with the guidance and method".

It added that in some instances not all relevant costs were included and the Cabinet Office should have learnt from previous mistakes.

"Since the data and the process are entirely within Cabinet Office, GDS could have made more progress to resolve them," the NAO stated.

The NAO did not detail the extent of the drop but claimed "internal audits identified several errors in the calculation of savings which were removed from the final saving".

The NAO did not respond to calls for comment at the time of writing, and we are still waiting to hear from the Cabinet Office. ®

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
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.