The Treasury has hired the former chief executive of Logica in an attempt to tackle the government's record of over-spending on IT projects.
Martin Read, who left Logica last year, will carry out a review of the public sector's £13bn annual spend on IT schemes. The Treasury hopes he will find ways to improve success rates.
The government has repeatedly gone over-budget on IT projects since Labour came to power ten years ago, costing the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds with ill-planned computing programmes, say critics.
Read's review will look at the challenges posed by national IT programmes where IT systems need to be compatible across the country. The Treasury said, "Lessons should be learned such as keeping dedicated teams on projects from start to finish involving people with relevant practical experience of delivery at decision-making level and not being afraid to abandon a project just because it has high-level backing."
Read's work will be part of a government-wide efficiency programme which is due to produce a final report at next year's Budget. Other business-leaders will be appointed to look at areas such as how the government can make better use of its collective buying power.
He said, "I am pleased to be involved in this programme and to be leading the work on back office and IT services. These services form a vital part of any modern organisation. The private sector has made significant strides forward in this area in recent years and my work will examine the scope for the public sector to benefit from this experience, in order to deliver further efficiencies over the coming period."