The Government has been criticised for the way it organises its bidding for IT contracts, while industry professionals have called for a review of its practices. A report by research company Policy Publications said that the Government's contract bidding is marred by technophobia, "compounded by a political agenda and the well-known civil service propensity for passing the buck."
The report, Winning new business in IT & Telecoms, looks at nearly 50 key issues that make a difference when bidding for new contracts in both the public and private sector.
It points to troubled IT projects such as the new National Insurance system at Newcastle-on-Tyne, the aborted Post Office/Benefits Agency project and the Passport agency contract.
One of the authors of the report summed up the problem. "A department calls in consultants, the consultants provide advice, the department then edits that advice for its own cosmetic purposes and then delivers an invitation to tender which allows no flexibility whatsoever to the supplier."
Another industry pundit said that the Civil Service does not have the staff or the capability to manage major IT procurement effectively.