Mandatory review to halt IT failures

The Government this week took a significant step towards preventing major IT failures when it made the use of the Office of...

The Government this week took a significant step towards preventing major IT failures when it made the use of the Office of Government Commerce's Gateway Review process mandatory for all of its IT projects

Mike Simons

Announcing the new process on Tuesday, Andrew Smith, chief secretary to the Treasury, said, "We now have a commercially-minded, reliable management system that can be applied to every major government project."

Pilot Gateway reviews on a wide range of IT and property projects have indicated potential savings of 5%, or £500m, on central government procurement.

Last week's cancellation of the troubled Immigration service system demonstrates the urgent need for a review process. If a review averts a repetition of the recent high-profile IT disasters, it would make a substantial inroad into the £500m target.

The reviews will be carried out by independent experts sponsored by the OGC and reporting to a senior officer responsible for the project throughout its duration.

Peter Gershon, chief executive of the OGC, said, "The Gateway process will ensure that projects that have not met our rigid criteria will fail to proceed."

There will be five review stages, starting with the business case and finishing with an assessment of delivered benefits.

www.ogc.gov.uk

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