The next few weeks in central government IT

Deputy government CIO Bill McCluggage today outlined what the next few weeks will hold for public sector IT.

As well as waiting for the comprehensive spending review, IT staff can expect to hear news about the IT moratorium with a letter set to be sent out to departments after senior civil servants agreed the contents with the Prime Minister around ten days ago.

There is also likely to be an update on the IT projects review, with civil servants coming to the end of several months of assessing 419 IT projects across central government.

The activity is likely to be timed to coincide with the comprehensive spending review and McCluggage said an announcement is expected from Ian Watmore, the chief operating officer at the Efficiency and Reform Group in October. The announcement is likely to focus on organisational structure, after Watmore (the former CIO at the Football Association) was appointed in June to look for efficiencies in areas including IT.

The team working with government CIO John Suffolk is looking at a number of projects and issues at the moment, including coming up with a business case for open source technology, and open standards to support use of the technology. While this year’s first round of cuts focused on “blunt” stopping of various IT activities, in the longer team the team hopes to produce more savings through new processes or technologies, McCluggage said today at an Intellect public sector event.

Details of IT projects will be online at by the end of the month, and renegotiations with suppliers continue. There is a possibility of Atos Origin’s recent agreement with the Cabinet Office being extended into a separate deal with the Scottish Executive. 

A set of offshoring guidelines is being developed for CIOs, and work on the G-Cloud (which McCluggage said should be thought of more as an “eBay for government”) is ongoing.