05 June 2007 | Antony Barton
The UK government must co-ordinate its IT projects if it is to bring cost savings, according to a parliamentary select committee.
In its latest report, the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) also says departments must scrutinise the delivery of projects such as the Payment Modernisation Programme and Pension Credit if they are to match their success.
The government is spending between £12 billion and £14 billion each year on IT and related services to improve areas such as health, education, and law and order. Central government has around 120 "mission critical" or high-risk IT programmes.
The Cabinet Office's Delivery and Transformation group (formerly the e-Government Unit) and the OGC assist departments with implementing these IT projects.
Based on evidence from the OGC and the Cabinet Office, the report examines three main issues: the importance of embedding the lessons from successful programmes and projects to drive up performance; the need to set standards for capacity and competence; and the value of candour in project reporting.
In a previous report, the National Audit Office set out the nine questions buyers should ask themselves before venturing into a potentially expensive computer project (Web news, 17 November 2006).