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IT industry calls for £1bn green stimulus package

Rebecca Thomson

The IT industry is calling for £1bn from central government to invest in sustainable IT systems that will save the public sector money and reduce carbon emissions.

The Society for IT Management (Socitm) environmental charity Global Action Plan and supplier Logicalis have joined forces to rally support for the request, which will fund transformational IT projects.

The consortium held a meeting at the House of Commons yesterday hoping to garner support from local government IT directors and find out what the challenges might be when implementing changes.

They say the package will lead to £3bn of savings over three years and a 12% reduction in carbon emissions.

Steve Palmer, head of IT at the London Borough of Hillingdon and president of Socitm, said the drive to increase shared services across government had not worked as well as it needs to.

"We remain unconvinced that there are sufficiently innovative and imaginative solutions that capture the imaginations of our colleagues," he said.

The consortium said shared services have not worked because the right rewards are not in place to help drive a shared approach. "Whether that is local politics, budgets, or anything else, the current system is designed to drive local parochial decision making," Chris Gabriel, marketing and solutions director at Logicalis said.

He added that real changes in the economic and environmental efficiency of public sector IT systems will not materialise unless there is both a will to change the system and the money to make it work.

Procurement processes were identified as a potential barrier to the plan's success, as a lack of flexibility could cause problems. It was acknowledged that both the public and private sectors will have to make changes to the way they work - public sector bodies need to run commercial contracts with a more open minded approach, Palmer said, while private companies need to adapt to their clients' working culture more effectively.


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