09 April 2008 | Paul Snell
The leader of the Conservative party, David Cameron, has hit out at the government's record on large IT programmes and promised a new approach to contracts under his administration.
In a speech to the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), the leader of the opposition said a Tory government would follow the example of the private sector and investigate the use of "open source" technology.
"We want to see how open source methods can help overcome the massive problems in government IT programmes," he said. " From the NHS computer to the new Child Support Agency, they rely on 'closed' IT systems that reduce competitive pressure and lead to higher risks and costs."
Cameron said his plan was to allow IT contracts to be split up, which would open competition to open source software and give small and innovative firms a chance to compete for contracts.
He also reaffirmed his commitment to the party's Spending Transparency Bill, which would require future governments to post information about every item of government spending above £25,000 online (News, 30 November 2006).