back to article UK.gov doesn't know its IT spend – but insists it will spend less

The government has put the kybosh on IT projects worth £1bn, but has no idea how much it will still be spending, as it doesn't keep an overall tab on its tech spend. Cabinet office minister Francis Maude was asked yesterday – by Charlie Elphicke MP – "how much government departments budgeted for expenditure on IT in 2010-11, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public Data

    If they hurry up and make all the data public and stop hiding behind "commercial reasons" then there'd be no need to waste time asking as we'd know!

  2. Stoned Hippy
    Linux

    Outsourcers

    Why not also request a list of how much money was paid to the Commercial IT Outsourcers who have done so much to rob HMG blind....mainly due to the fact that HMG ditched or TUPE'd any in-house experience that could have told them what was happening in the process

    But I'm not bitter....

    Penguin....coz no outsourcer would recommend such a cheap solution as it requires people who know what they're doing to support it

  3. D Moss Esq

    Hefty chunk

    One official may have told Mr Maude that figures are not collected on total spend but another official has been briefing like mad that total spend on public sector IT is £17 billion p.a. -- see Tony Collins's briliiant post on Computer World UK, 'The future of Government IT?'.

    That's quite a lot of money. And a lot of it is probably being wasted, isn't it.

    Yes it is, says the outgoing government CIO, John Suffolk, who thinks we could make savings of £8 billion p.a.

    Blimey, that's quite a lot of money. How do we make these savings?

    Cloud computing. Yeah, right.

    Consolidation -- the public sector currently has 8,000 data centres, and we only need 12. 8,000? 12? Has someone been drinking?

    Deliver public services over the web. That would save money. 9.2 million people in the UK have never used the web. They would be excluded from public services. Which would save a lot of money.

    Sack all the frontline public servants and replace them with an iPad in the local post office. Actually, Whitehall doesn't say that. They just mean it.

    Data-sharing. The Home Office and DWP can use the same National Identity Register for passports and pension payments and HMRC can use it for income tax and the health service can use it for ... Except that that's illegal and CESG say it's insecure and Whitehall's experience of data sharing is ... nil.

    "A hefty chunk of those savings could come from G-Cloud and data-centre consolidation". So that's bye-bye to a hefty chunk of the £8 billion savings.

    Does anyone know, how big is a hefty chunk? How many bite-size chunks are there in a hefty one?

    1. milosevic999

      Hefty

      If 1/2 pounder burger = a Hefty Burger and we suppose it takes somewhere between 20 to 25 bites to devour one then I think we can have a good estimate, well as good as Maude's anyway..

  4. Richard IV

    Obvious questions

    _Will they start_ monitoring total IT spend? If not, why not?

    Why aren't they already?

    @AC 14:07 - There are two curtains they can hide behind: secrecy and volume. I look forward to your comment in a couple of years asking why, when all the data were available, did we not know.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Obvious questions

    >_Will they start_ monitoring total IT spend?

    Yes, the new department of IT spend (with a budget of 5Bn) will start a tendering process with CapGemini / Accenture / BAe / a chap in my house at school - to develop a system to track IT spending. The project is proposed to cost another 10Bn but they are sure that they can manage savings once it is actually installed then specified.

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Grenade

    Slowly you're getting there .... They haven't a clue about what to do for the best, so ....

    ..... they make it up as they go along and react to events in the control of others, and how pathetic is that in a supposed leadership.

    I hope y'all are starting to realise the scam that government is. Honesty and straight talking are not part of executive management, and have no part to play in Cabinet charades.

    A tad harsh, you may feel, but the evidence is overwhelming that intelligence is missing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ICT spend nearer £18bn according to Kable

    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2011/01/27/change_to_sustain_public_ict_spend/

  9. Jah

    Cost and Value, not just cost!

    1. Obtaining a discount from suppliers will only result in less being done, so what have we gained?

    2. Who will police the reduced contract values with IT suppliers?

    3. Why not seek better value for money, that is, improved effectivess in all steps in the supply chain and that includes scoping sensible projects of a manageable size.

    Does the Government atually understand the IT business?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Putting the SH in IT.

    This is the same Francis Maude who didn't know he was offering links to pr0n sites on his personal website:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/01/26/tory_mp_accidentally_promotes_german_pr0n_site/

    Which doesn't exactly inspire confidence, unless you're into German pr0n.

    Then again maybe that was deliberate, and it's all part of some click-thru revenue generation scheme that the government has cooked up....

  11. veti Silver badge
    Grenade

    Why should the government monitor its IT spend in particular?

    Nobody asks how much the government, as a whole, spends on office furniture, or air conditioning systems. Try finding out what "the government", in all its branches, spent on petrol last year, and see how far you get. Those budgets are probably comparable to "IT spending".

    Budgets are allocated by department, not to vaguely defined global functions.

  12. vulcan

    Yes minister

    But Maude reassured Elphicke that whatever it is the government is spending, it intended to spend less.

    Has he been reading the old scripts from 'Yes Minister'?

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