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Government IT cuts hit £1.2bn, £1bn more to come

Ian Grant

The government's Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) has already cut £1.2bn from public sector spending on IT, and is eyeing another £1bn in savings, says Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

The savings already made will come from £800m in renegotiated contracts with key suppliers, and £402m from closing or cutting major projects, including the controversial national identity card scheme.

"Over 300 ICT projects have been reviewed and work is underway with departments to stop or de-scope contracts worth £1bn," Maude said in a statement.

The ERG oversees information and communications technology spend, procurement, marketing and consultancy spend, and civil service expenses and recruitment.

Maude said it had saved £100m on consultants by having any spend of more than £20,000 require approval from a minister and permanent secretary. It saved another £27m by freezing new non-essential marketing and advertising spend.

"This is not glamorous work, but it is where the money is," Maude said. "We will continue to leave no stone unturned in the search for waste and unnecessary low-value spending."

Maude said he was working with UK digital champion Martha Lane Fox to provide an "online first" delivery of some government services. This would save money while making them easier to access.

He said 96% of 25- to 34-year-olds were internet users, but just 13% of government contact with citizens was currently online.

The ERG is also helping departments to save £6.2bn in 2010/11.

Related Topics: IT outsourcing, VIEW ALL TOPICS

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