Brown unlikely to change government IT contracts

Prime minister Gordon Brown is unlikely to change the management of government IT contracts, says analyst Ovum.

Prime minister Gordon Brown is unlikely to change the management of government IT contracts, says analyst Ovum.

Ovum analyst Eric Woods said, “There will be an emphasis on showing the benefits to the public from the investments made over the past 10 years in health, education and the broader infrastructure.

“The investment made in IT is a vital element of that. We can expect to hear much more about the use of PACS [Picture Archiving and Communications system] in hospitals, online vehicle licensing and e-learning in schools, for example.”

Woods said the Varney report has the potential to provide the bridge between IT modernisation and business transformation, allowing Brown to show the public that big IT contracts can deliver.

“There is little reason to expect significant changes to existing or planned major IT projects, with the possible exception of ID Cards,” said Woods.

He said, “Though some have speculated about the attitude of the new PM to the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT), the fact that the programme is now starting to show real benefits in some areas and will have new leadership in 2008, suggests there is little reason for intervention that could interrupt the progress being made.”

The ID-card programme will go ahead, said Woods, with procurement starting on time, but the ID cards may not be distributed to the public until after an election, to help avoid any political flak between supporters and critics of the scheme.

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