The government made a saving of £91m last year as a result of “militant” guidelines the Cabinet Office put in place surrounding contract procurement, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
The minister highlighted how the Cabinet Office’s four “red line” policies for procurement reduced expenditure and should continue to do so over the next year.
“For too long, government IT meant interminable procurement processes to buy services and technology that were obsolete, actually in many cases long before the contract had even started, let alone by the time it had run its course,” said Maude.
“We created systems and structures that were incompatible, no interoperability between different silos, just everything wrong about the way it was being done.”
The plan, which was put in place in January 2014, states the government will no longer participate in contracts valued at over £100m.
Read more about the Government Digital Service
- The question over whether the Government Digital Service (GDS) can scale locally was discussed at a Computer Weekly debate on government digital policies.
- A local authority version of Whitehall’s Government Digital Service (GDS) is a “very high priority”, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.
Government procurement rules
The Government Digital Service (GDS) plan also stated it would only take smaller shorter contracts; would not take hosting contracts or contracts for service provision from a company developing service integration to the same part of government; and will ensure no deals are automatically extended.
Maude reiterated plans for Government as a Platform (Gaap) and said: “In the future, public services will need to be fully integrated into this platform to be viable.”
“Government as a platform, greater transparency and more open data will enable others to play a more accurate role in the delivery of public services in the same way the open nature of Apple’s iOS system harnesses the innovative potential of small app makers,” said Maude.
Earlier this year the Maude announced he would step down as an MP, but suggested his work with the GDS would continue.
“It ain’t over yet,” he said.