There was much excellent material in the PASC report on Government and IT published yesterday but at the end of my blog yesterday I felt only able to award 8/10.
I deducted one mark for accepting the attempts by Whitehall to blame the European Procurement Directives for the volumes of misleading legal verbiage it has itself commissioned.
I deducted a second mark for the way the attack on a non-existant cartel (as opposed to a very real government-created oligopoly) detracted from more important material.
Intellect has released the followed press release
Intellect’s response to PASC report on government and IT
London. July 28, 2011: “The recent PASC report on government and IT includes allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and collusion, and suggestions of a ‘cartel’ operating in the ICT industry. The implication is that leaders of public sector businesses in our industry have been involved in criminal activity. As the trade body for the ICT sector, we want to make it clear that this is not the case and cartels do not exist in our industry. On the contrary, this is a highly competitive market. Intellect would cooperate with any investigation into such allegations, but we believe it would be a waste of public money.”
About Intellect: Intellect is the trade association for the UK’s technology sector which includes the IT, telecoms and electronics industries. Intellect has 780 member companies ranging from major multinationals to SMEs which account for approximately 10per cent of UK GDP. For more information about Intellect please visit: www.intellectuk.org.
Contact: Tony Henderson, head of communications T: + 44 (0)20 7331 2031 M: +44 (0)7730988295
I strongly agree that any attempt to find evidence of a Cartel would be a waste of public money and a diversion from the need to address the other problems identified in the report.
P.S. Added at 12.45 after receipt of e-mails querying my comment above in the light of some of the evidence given to the Select Committee and quoted in the report.
I need to add a point of clarification.
The “important material” to which I referred included other allegations of misconduct which may or may not have entailed illegal behaviour. These include the allegations regarding the treatment of the IPR of SMEs proposing innovative solutions, whether that treatment was by departments or by those working for major suppliers.
I do, however, strongly agree with the Intellect statement that looking for evidence of a cartel that planned such activities, or any other collective criminal behaviour, would be a waste of effort.