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Articles about Public Spending

UK public auditor, scourge of tax-dodging big biz, hosts its site on ... Amazon

The National Audit Office may have highlighted government suppliers that pull levers to minimise corporate tax, but it failed to mention it too works with at least one such organisation. Via an online gov supplier catalogue, the public spending watchdog contracted DXW to host its website in March, but DXW in turn buys hosting …
Paul Kunert, 14 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Government opens public spending database

The government has broken the seal on its UK public expenditure data by releasing the entire contents of the Treasury’s Combined Online Information System (COINS) that details spending undertaken by the previous administration for the past two years. The information has been published on data.gov.uk and contains “detailed” …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Jun 2010
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Gartner cuts tech spending forecast

Analyst house Gartner has lowered its prediction for growth in the European technology market, blaming sovereign debt which is likely to push down public sector spending. Gartner was expecting growth of 5.3 per cent for the year - from $3.225 trillion to $3.350 trillion worldwide. It is now predicting more modest growth of 3.9 …
John Oates, 02 Jul 2010

Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

Nearly half of the unionised techies at the UK's Ministry of Justice have voted to strike over proposals that could shift IT service work into the private sector. At the heart of the matter is the Cabinet Office's excitingly titled Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, which was published in March 2013: the strategy's …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Government ICT spending heads for plateau

Public sector spending on ICT is set to stabilise over the next five years. New research from Kable shows that while government is placing the brakes on the spending surge of recent years, the drives for efficiency and radical changes in service provision will open up new areas of growth. The UK public sector ICT overview and …
Kable, 24 Nov 2009
The Register breaking news

Ha ha, Osborne, these Gov 2.0 web wranglers have wiped out UK debt

"A digital revolution, masterminded by a team of dress-down civil servants, could save the taxpayer billions," The Times newspaper gushed on Tuesday. And behold: it already has. The UK has apparently paid off its national debt years ahead of Chancellor George Osborne's predictions. Alas, it's no miracle, but an infographics cock …
Team Register, 31 Jul 2013
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Huawei WILL make a comeback to US market, policy wonk predicts

A senior member of a prestigious US think tank has predicted the US government will eventually cave in and roll out the red carpet to Chinese networking giant Huawei. Darrell West, VP and director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, made the call in an analysis of IT globalization and innovation at a conference …
Joe Fay, 17 Jun 2014
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NAO: £4bn of gov work doled out to just 4 outsourcing giants

In spite of the Cabinet Office's tough talk about binning hefty suppliers whose performance is crappy, four outsourcing giants caught up in contractual issues have amassed £4bn of government business. The fabulous four include Capita, Serco, G4S and Atos, which collectively banked £1.05bn in profits globally in 2012. Between …
Paul Kunert, 12 Nov 2013
Delia Derbyshire tweaks a Jason oscillator

BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

The BBC failed to heed warnings given as early as 2010 that its Digital Media Initiative uber-project was vague and getting nowhere - according to the National Audit Office, which published its investigation into the disaster today. Executives at the Beeb's finance committee, its executive committee and the BBC Trust all …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jan 2014
The Register breaking news

Tory £12bn public sector cuts proposal would claim IT scalps

A Tory government would cut spending on public sector IT projects, office costs, contracts and hiring of new staff in an effort to hold back £12bn and swerve a rise in National Insurance contributions. David Cameron's party finally fleshed out Conservative plans on public spending this morning. Tory adviser Sir Peter Gershon …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Apr 2010
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CEO of bloated outsourcing firm Capita quits after 26 years

Fat cat chief exec Paul Pinder is to quit after 26 years at outsourcing giant Capita to head up small, private equity-backed businesses. The man who, along with other top brass, pocketed a 20 per cent pay hike last year as IT Services staff had their wages frozen and bonuses shelved, is to be replaced by Capita deputy chief exec …
Paul Kunert, 18 Nov 2013
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UK gov fights public spending website

The government is obstructing a bill aimed at establishing a new website for information on public sector spending. The bill, which originated in the House of Lords, is now being led by Conservative MP David Gauke. It would require the Treasury to create a government expenditure website, as well as giving the government the …
Kablenet, 03 Jul 2007
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Wasted billions of government IT spending exposed

The massive increase in government IT spending under New Labour has had no impact on the productivity of the public sector, a new analysis reveals. Work by Jerry Fishenden, who was until recently Microsoft's national technology officer for the UK and is now a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, shows that …
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IOD: Slash UK.gov IT, save public cash

A report by the Institute of Directors and the TaxPayers' Alliance says that cutting government IT projects could slash millions from public spending. Proposals include abolishing Building Schools for the Future, ContactPoint, the NHS National Programme for IT and ID cards. Becta, the technology organisation for the education …
Kable, 14 Sep 2009
The Register breaking news

UK.gov's £530m bumpkin broadband rollout: 'Train crash waiting to happen'

The UK government's ploughing of taxpayers' cash into deploying countryside broadband networks has been branded a "train crash waiting to happen". That's the view of a well-placed Whitehall insider who revealed that Blighty's public spending watchdog will next month publish a scathing report into the crashingly expensive …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Jun 2013

'£100m For Sale' sign plonked outside Northgate MS - sources

Northgate Managed Services (NMS) is up for sale and investment banking biz Jefferies International is doing the hawking, claim sources close to the company. "Northgate Managed Services is up for sale, the reality is that the business has been offered to a number of firms," said a person familiar with the matter. It is …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2012
By Emilio Labrador - licensed under Creative Commons

MPs slam bumpkin fibre rollout, demand halt to further £250m cash spaff

Whitehall has insisted that its delayed multimillion-pound rural broadband project represents good value for taxpayers - even as a brutal parliamentary report published today attacks the government for failing to rein in BT. MPs on Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Labour politico Margaret Hodge, submitted …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Sep 2013

Hold on a mo: Brits blow £56m a year on the blower to gov minions

British callers spent £56m last year on calling costly 084-prefixed numbers for government departments, the National Audit Office has said. The public spending watchdog released a report today that showed that Blighty's government departments were still using higher rate phone numbers, particularly in the Department of Work and …
Lenovo C325 all-in-one desktop PC

Chinese state tightwads help strangle Asia-Pacific PC sales in 2013

Asia-Pacific has well and truly succumbed to the global economic malaise, with the region’s PC market declining 13 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter – its first ever double digit drop, according to IDC. Not even the launch of Windows 8 in China in October and more Intel-powered ultrabooks could stop PC sales sliding to …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Apr 2013
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Cisco turns in solid June quarter

Networking giant and server upstart Cisco Systems hit the numbers between the eyes in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 ended in June, growing profits faster than revenues. The company's financial performance, despite intense competition, soft markets in many places around the globe, and skittish CEOs who are not sure how the …
The Register breaking news

Broadband gov subsidy should end in 2015 -Tory think tank

The government's current fixation with pushing for the deployment of faster broadband connections to most of the UK's population by 2015 should not shape its future policy, a leading Tory think tank has argued. Policy Exchange - which published its The Superfast and the Furious report (PDF) this morning - added that, while it …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

SHEEP NEED TWITTER, insist my noble Lords

A House of Lords committee this week declared that British taxpayers must foot the bill for an internet that nobody wants - unless perhaps they have a second home in the country. You may have caught the highlights of this report yesterday, and some observations are accurate: Britain's broadband is slower than its rivals. But …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Aug 2012
The Register breaking news

ICO: Nearly HALF all FOI complaints are about local councils

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) received 1,922 freedom of information complaints about local authorities in 2011-12, accounting for 43 per cent of the total number of complaints, according to the watchdog's latest annual report. The document says that of the 4,633 freedom of information complaints during the year, …
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Capita to get fat on govt cuts

Outsourcing giant Capita turned in "robust" results for 2010, despite a challenging business environment and a tightening of the government spending tap. Overall revenues were £1.7bn, up 2 per cent on the year. It reported "underlying profit before tax" of £364.2m, up 12 per cent on the year. This excludes items such as …
Joe Fay, 24 Feb 2011
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'Special relationship': Oracle bags UK.gov contract renewal

Database giant Oracle has bagged a renewed contract to supply its technology to Whitehall in a deal that the Cabinet Office claimed would save £75m for taxpayers by 2015. The California multinational is one of the biggest provider's to government, Francis Maude's department said when announcing the agreement this morning. It …
The Register breaking news

Osborne promises 'Budget for growth'

Chancellor George Osborne is promising this afternoon's Budget will be a strategy for growth when set against big cuts in public spending, which seem likely to push the UK in the opposite direction. An increase in personal tax allowance, the amount you can earn without paying tax, is widely expected. The Beeb reckons this will …
John Oates, 23 Mar 2011
The Register breaking news

UK.gov threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

Concerns were raised during a committee hearing in Parliament yesterday over the government's £12bn plan to rapidly roll out smart energy meters in the UK by 2019. A gap exists in communicating the benefits of smart meters to taxpayers on lower incomes, the House of Commons Public Accounts committee was warned. "Poorer …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Scottish FOI watchdog reports 20% boost in appeals

The Scottish Information Commissioner (SICO) received 20 per cent more appeal applications relating to freedom of information (FOI) requests during the first three months of this year than the watchdog received last year. SICO, which is responsible for ensuring Scottish public bodies comply with FOI laws in Scotland, said that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Nov 2011
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CSC's iSoft takeover cleared

The European Commission has cleared CSC's takeover of iSoft - the key NHS supplier. Aussie health provider iSoft has had a chequered past - it was bailed out with £82m of taxpayer cash, removed a co-founder, and is still going through a Financial Services Authority probe which led to four former directors facing criminal charges …
John Oates, 21 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Socitm: IT crucial in coping with cuts

The public sector IT professionals' association (Socitm) has said the sharp cuts in public spending will give IT a stronger role in public services Socitm has released a statement following the publication of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), which cut central government funds by an average of 19 per cent and subsidies to …
Kable, 22 Oct 2010
The Register breaking news

BT layoffs boost profits

Layoffs and cost-cutting at BT have boosted BT's first quarter net profits by a third to £284m. However, revenues were four per cent down to £5bn, and CEO Ian Livingston said the firm is in talks with the government about how deep public spending cuts will affect it. He described the results as "an acceptable start to the year …
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SMEs, tech vendors scrabble for morsels of comfort in CSR

George Osborne left small business lobbyists spluttering today over the lack of an explicit commitment to helping SMEs in the Comprehensive Spending Review. Meanwhile, tech vendors reacted with a flurry of pre-canned statements, mainly claiming that their products and services are just the thing to help hard-pressed public …
Joe Fay, 20 Oct 2010
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Coalition failing on UK economy

The Coalition government might be doing a good job of slashing public spending, but it lacks the vision needed to get the UK economy back on track. The criticism comes from outgoing CBI boss Richard Lambert, who used his final speech as boss of the lobby group to lambast the government's failure to outline a path to economic …
John Oates, 25 Jan 2011

Dell retools for the midmarket

Consumers and governments in the United States and Europe are crimping their spending, but businesses of all sizes are still refreshing their servers, storage, and PCs. As a result, Dell was able to come close to meeting Wall Street's revenue expectations in its second quarter. The company even brought more money to the bottom …
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Maude: Gov contracts 'made my eyes water'

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said he was shocked by things he found when renegotiating government contracts over the summer. Speaking at the government's Open Data conference on 19 November 2010, he told the audience that in the past departments have signed inefficient deals because senior ministers "have not always …
Kable, 19 Nov 2010
For Sale sign detail

Coalition rejigs gov procurement to give SMEs an in

The government launched a new website this afternoon for contractors looking to win public sector jobs that cost over £10,000. It's hoped that more small businesses will get involved in the procurement process, said Prime Minister David Cameron. Stephen Allot has been tasked with improving dialogue between Whitehall and smaller …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Feb 2011
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Outsourcing UK public sector services - the moral hazards

Recent estimates by Kable, an organisation which provides technology research and analysis on the UK government and public services sector, suggest that almost one fifth of public sector services (£60bn) could be delivered through outsourcing to private and voluntary bodies. Principle sectors targeted for this treatment appear …
Bob McDowall, 21 Apr 2005
The Register breaking news

Company collapses? We've only just begun, warn accountants

An insolvency firm has warned that company collapses could shoot up later this year, as HMRC begins to take a firmer line on payments and long-awaited spending cuts start to hurt public sector suppliers. Begbies Traynor, which produces the Red Flag Alert, said that 140,000 companies experienced "Significant and Critical …
Joe Fay, 18 Jan 2010
The Register breaking news

Universities warn Willetts on science cuts

Jostling for cash ahead of the coalition government's slash-and-burn, six leading universities have told Science Minister David Willetts that the UK is at risk of losing its best researchers because of real or perceived shortfalls in funding. When Willetts gave evidence to the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology …
John Oates, 23 Sep 2010
The Register breaking news

Tories to cut IT to keep National Insurance down

The shadow chancellor today announced cuts in large IT programmes would form part of a £6bn public spending squeeze under a Tory government, that would be used to cancel most of a rise in national insurance planned for next year by Labour. Under the plan to slash "without reducing the quality of front line services", George …
The Register breaking news

Cheap gas is a 'crisis' for Greens, but not for us

Energy Minister Christopher Huhne has an opinion piece in the The Daily Telegraph today – and it's really an 800-word explanation of why we need a new Energy Minister. The subject of Huhne's essay is new, cheap gas. The article finds the minister on the defensive about shale gas: it's why he's taking his argument into print. …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Nov 2011
The Register breaking news

Liverpudlians headbutt Cameron's 'big society'

Liverpool City Council has withdrawn from David Cameron's "big society" - the radical restructuring of the administrative paradigm which was meant to see real people running their own local services. The BBC explains that when he announced Liverpool would be a big society "vanguard" last year, the PM expressed the hope that " …
Lester Haines, 03 Feb 2011
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Capita pays £60m for medico screening firm

Services monolith Capita has sucked up medical reporting and screening firm Premier Medical Group in return for £60m. PMG expects to make £6m operating profit on revenues of £51.2m this year, and has around 285 staff. It describes itself as "a leading provider of medical reporting and screening services" which works "on behalf …
Team Register, 01 Jun 2010
The Register breaking news

Australia’s NBN too expensive: EIU

The headlines say all you need to know, surely? As reported all over the place, Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) has been rated as too expensive and relying too much on government support, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Australia cherishes a characteristic called “cultural cringe”. A full explanation …
The Register breaking news

IP law probe MPs hunt for smoking gun, find plenty of smoke

There’s an elephant in the room as Parliament’s informal inquiry into intellectual property policy rolls on. In the foreground, there’s the role of the officials who are supposed to support it. In the background, there’s something more troubling. Within the past two years - and without a hint, let alone a fanfare - the UK’s …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 May 2012
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Blu-ray Disc added to UK shopping basket

HD has officially entered mainstream consumer conscience, because the UK's Office of National Statistics (ONS) has added Blu-ray Discs to its list of everyday purchases. The ONS maintains a list of 650-odd products and services, and updates the selection annually. The list is intended to reflect public spending habits and is …
James Sherwood, 23 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Pre-election budget targets politics, not policy

In a budget lacking the traditional pre-election giveaway, the chancellor dedicated much of his speech to congratulating himself on measures taken in the last two years to mitigate the impact of recession and bail out the financial sector. The most significant tax change is to stamp duty, which will rise to five per cent for …
The Register breaking news

Wales Audit Office boss sacked amidst laptop smut claims

Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales has resigned from his £170,000 a year post after porn material was allegedly found on his laptop. In fact, the post is in the gift of the Queen, so his resignation has been forwarded on to her. The National Assembly is now looking for an interim successor. His laptop was seized, The …
John Oates, 04 Feb 2010
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Budget Day: First dump from Osborne

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told the House of Commons that today's Budget was about reforming the UK economy and helping families deal with rising living costs. He said it marked a move from rescue to recovery. He claimed the changes had already brought stability to the British economy. Osborne said the …
John Oates, 23 Mar 2011
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Siemens' IT workers ballot for strike action at Beeb

Siemens IT staff working at the BBC are mulling possible strike action over a planned pay freeze by the tech firm. Bectu said it was sending out ballot papers to members today, in which the broadcasting union recommends industrial action. The ballot will close on 19 March and followed Siemens' decision to bring in a pay freeze …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Feb 2010