Government removes G-Cloud from list of risk-monitored projects

The G-Cloud programme has been removed from the Cabinet Office’s portfolio of government projects monitored for risk

The G-Cloud programme has been removed from the Cabinet Office’s portfolio of government projects monitored for risk by the Major Projects Authority (MPA) just one month after receiving a high danger rating.

In the MPA’s 2014 annual report, G-Cloud was one of 23 IT projects to be flagged as “at risk”. The MPA did not specify the reasons the project received an amber/red status for the second year running, but it indicated “under-resources” as a factor.

The G-Cloud report was submitted to the MPA in September last year, three months after the programme moved to the Government Digital Service (GDS).

However, the risks have now been addressed and the MPA and HM Treasury have “subsequently agreed to take G-Cloud off the Government Major Projects Portfolio as it no longer requires MPA oversight,” said a Cabinet Office spokesman.

The G-Cloud now has a team of 25 people and fixed budget of £3.9m. The programme was previously overseen by the Government Procurement Service and had a team of around five.

Tony Singleton, director of the G-Cloud and digital commercial programme at GDS, told Computer Weekly an action plan was put in place to improve the programme following the MPA rating in September.

Singleton replaced G-Cloud director Denise McDonagh in June last year after the initiative moved over to GDS.

“We really started to focus on its future direction in September once the due diligence had been completed,” he said.

He said one of the concerns the MPA raised last year was a lack of a proper budget for the programme, “and that is one of the things that we have corrected”.

Singleton said the resources include provisions for building the Digital Marketplace catalogue, which will replace the CloudStore: “This will ensure that the entire programme is properly supported and on a firm financial footing.

“When the G-Cloud first came in, I did not want it to be just another IT framework. It has to be part of a bigger transformation programme,” he said.

In an interview with Computer Weekly, Singleton revealed a number of plans for the Digital Marketplace – the alpha test version of which was launched this week.

He said the transition of the G-Cloud over to GDS is a natural home for the programme, as a key driver for enabling the “digital revolution” across government.

“We are also working with departments identifying what sorts of capabilities they need – not just for the procurement part, but the whole digital agenda,” he said.

The latest figure for CloudStore sales reached £191m last month. Singleton said the programme is on track to meet Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s target for a further £100m of sales to SMEs by next year.

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