Whitehall to commit £12bn on IT this year

The UK government will sign more than £12bn in IT deals this year in an unprecedented spending spree.

The UK government will sign more than £12bn in IT deals this year in an unprecedented spending spree.

The budget will include massive new systems for the NHS and the Ministry of Defence, as well as a contract for the Inland Revenue computer systems.

This investment in public sector IT will severely test the procurement and project management arrangements that are being introduced by the Office of Government Commerce. It will also test the ability of the IT suppliers to deliver on projects.

The MoD will announce a £4bn-£5bn investment in a complete communications and IT overhaul for the armed forces.

News of the project emerged as the Inland Revenue began a detailed evaluation of three bids for Aspire, the £4bn-plus, 10-year contract to run its IT systems.

At the same time the Department of Health is preparing to flesh out details of its £2.3bn investment in NHS IT over three years.

IT professionals will be hoping that Whitehall and suppliers have learnt from past public sector IT fiascos.

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