Will Chancellor scrap any big IT-based projects tomorrow?

Gordon Brown’s speech yesterday on “Building Britain’s Digital Future“, says that the Government may cancel some current projects.

He said: “I want to make a radical set of proposals which include transfers and shifts in existing spending, including being prepared to cancel current projects …”

These cancellations,  “together with more detailed plans set out by theChancellor in the budget on Wednesday – will help us to save billionsof pounds a year in public sector costs in the next few years”.

These projects may have nothing to do with IT. But given that his speech was about Digital Britain, will the Chancellor cancel any IT-based projects such as ID Cards or Contactpoint?

It seems highly unlikely but possible. ID Cards would probably be untouchable but Contactpoint, had so many problems the Department for Children Schools and Families is avoiding questions from journalists about the system – though it is supposed to be rolling out across England.

If he cancels any large IT-based project, he’d be pre-empting theConservatives which have announced that they’ll scrap ID Cards andContactpoint, and halt the NPfIT local service provider contracts, ifthey win the May election.

The Tories have said in their draft manifesto proposals that they would:

–  review big databases, and scrap ID Cards and Contactpoint
–  immediately establish a presumption that ICT projects should not exceed £100m
–  carry out a transformational redesign of NPfIT and give patients greater control of medical records

Will any of this feature in the Chancellor’s statement tomorrow?

Gordon Brown’s speech in full – Number 10 website

Tories are slippery on committing to Government IT reform – IT Projects Blog