14 December 2006 | Antony Barton
Suppliers have promised to cut the cost of government IT programmes by 20 per cent if departments improve their procurement processes.
A dozen of the government's biggest IT suppliers said the reduction would be made over the next three to four years if departments accelerated procurement, introduced more standardisation and improved project management.
Suppliers made the agreement at a strategic supply board meeting, chaired by Joe Harley, chief information officer at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Harley said the aim was to ensure that over 90 per cent of IT programmes were delivered on time and on budget within four years, as opposed to a current baseline of about 30 per cent.
Harley said departments over-customised their IT specifications, failed to share knowledge with each other and prolonged the procurement process.
He also claimed, however, that suppliers often provided a mediocre service at a high price. The board agreed to a standardised evaluation model that could be used across government departments to assess supplier performance.
The suppliers include Accenture, BT, Capgemini, Capita, Fujitsu and Logica.