Maude will tell IT suppliers savings have to be permanent

Cabinet Secretary Francis Maude will tell the top 20 ICT suppliers to the government that costs must continue to be controlled and contracts need to be more flexible.

The Cabinet Minister Francis Maude is making the spending controls it introduced around IT contracts a permanent feature of its supplier relationships vowing to prevent any more costly projects spiraling out of control.

Francis Maude will sit down with 20 suppliers, including Accenture, Atos, BT, Capgemini, Capita, HP, IBM, Logica, Serco and Steria, and share with them the latest guidance about the governments approach to procurement.

All of the suppliers have already signed up to deliver savings and will be told by Maude that that approach, sparked initially by the need to cut the budget deficit, will become a permanent one.

The Cabinet Office is also expanding its team of negotiators to exploit its bargaining muscle more and get better deals and more flexibility in contracts.

The move has been seen as a step forward by industry lobby group Intellect, which highlighted the role that the industry had played in delivering significant savings for the government.

"The technology industry has played a full part in helping the government achieve its efficiency aims. We are pleased that government recognises it needs to change the way it specifies and procures projects in order to deliver further benefits," said Julian David, Intellect's director general.

"We welcome the progress made to date which we hope will benefit both government and industry, including SMEs. However, the big prize for the public sector will come from using information technology to transform its service delivery and that is the agenda we want to engage with now. There are already examples of technology being used to improve public services but there is scope to go much further," he added. 

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