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Government tries to persuade contractors about green IT

The government is seeking to apply cost-cutting green ICT targets retrospectively to existing IT contacts and is setting up a taskforce to persuade suppliers...

The government is seeking to apply cost-cutting green ICT targets retrospectively to existing IT contacts and is setting up a taskforce to persuade suppliers to accept the changes.

Suppliers have been reluctant to change existing contracts to accommodate green IT measures, such as longer technology refresh cycles, introduced by the CIO Council last July.

The extent of their resistance will become apparent this July when Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson publishes a one-year review of the strategy. Watson plans to mandate 10 green measures, in a move that could force government departments to reach a compromise with suppliers.

Catalina McGregor, deputy head of the Green ICT Delivery Unit, said a taskforce would seek to make suppliers accept changes to their contracts.

"We are setting up a new group with the OGC to look at green ICT and how we can add new terms and conditions in existing contracts," she said.

"It's a lot harder than you think to deliver green ICT when you have longstanding contracts. People just think you just snap your fingers and say, pull this service, aggregate this," said McGregor.

"Certain departments, fortunately, were beginning procurement when the [green] strategy was launched and have been able to include it in tenders and assessment," she said, adding: "Most of the tenders that we have in government today were issued before the strategy. Very few included criteria in tenders."

Sureyya Cansoy, associate director at trade body Intellect, said industry supported the green initiative but raised questions: "I assume there will be a cost involved for suppliers. The issue would be who would be paying for that, especially if it's not part of a contractual arrangement."

Government ICT goes green conference 2009 >>

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