Public sector must buy IT better

17 November 2006
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17 November 2006 | Antony Barton

Public-sector IT procurement has again been thrust into the spotlight with the publication of National Audit Office report recommending IT strategies.

Delivering successful IT-enabled business change describes the nine questions buyers should ask themselves before venturing into a potentially expensive computer project. The report follows a series of publicised delays in public-sector IT projects, including the £6.2bn overhaul of NHS networks.

The report draws on examples of IT implementation in public and private sectors from across the world. The questions cover the department's ability to implement IT change, whether the department has the necessary programme management skills and how clear it is about the business process it seeks to develop.

Public accountability is emphasised and the ability to establish and promote an open and constructive relationship with suppliers is also on the list.

The report says its case studies "indicate repeatedly the importance of establishing from the outset strong, constructive relationships between clients and suppliers, typified by shared governance arrangements, joint teams and establishing an environment in which each side is comfortable challenging the other".


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