HM Treasury to launch IT spending review

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HM Treasury to launch IT spending review

Ian Grant

HM Treasury is to review how the government buys information technology and related services in a dozen billion-pound initiatives in an effort to cut waste and get better value for money.

A Treasury spokesman said the review would look at how the National Health Service commissions work, the road building initiative and the housing regeneration initiative, plus nine others that are still to be chosen.

He said the review, by Yvette Cooper, chief secretary to the Treasury, would include IT as part of a wider attempt to improve the value received from the contracts.

Cooper would not review the government's controversial £5.4bn ID card project, nor would it examine the Gateway reviews associated with the project, he said.

The spokesman said the decision to hold Cooper's review preceded a computer crash at HM Revenue & Customs as hundreds of thousands of tax payers tried to file their self-assessment returns on-line. In 2007 HMRC was responsible for losing the personal details of 25 million people who receive child benefit payments.

The government spends about £14bn a year on IT and related services. According to National Audit Office reports, in the past 10 years, billions have gone on IT systems that have run over budget, failed completely or run insecurely.


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