Government touts £10bn savings as IT spending streamlined

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The government has saved £10bn in public spending through a series of financial cutbacks including a drastic overhaul of its use of IT.

The figure is a £2bn improvement on the £8bn Whitehall was hoping to save for the financial year just ended. Cabinet office minister Francis Maude said the savings underlined the success of the government’s efficiency drives including IT spending.

“For years the governments had fritted away billions on disastrous IT projects,” he said at an event in Whitehall attended by V3. “So we set about scrutinising how every pound was spent and negotiating better deals with better suppliers.”

As well as this Maude touted new IT initiatives such as the Gov.UK website as evidence of where efficiency savings were being made, claiming the new site had already saved £42m by consolidating all government sites into a single portal.

“This has enabled users to have one place for government information. This is just the start of something more transformative,” he said. “Our digital by default strategy will make it easier for users to access government services online and we estimate this could save £1.7bn a year.”

Government chief operating officer Stephen Kelly added that the Gov.UK website was now receiving over one million hits a day, while other initiatives such as the G-Cloud were also pushing improvements.

“The government cloud opens up tremendous potential for contracts to be concluded swiftly as well as working with small and medium enterprises,” he said.

In total the government estimates some £1.1bn has been saved through IT improvements and property rental and ownership reductions.

The £10bn figure represents 7.42 percent of central government spending per year of £138bn, from an entire budget, of both local and central authorities, of £695bn. The figure is also currently unaudited and so could be subject to change in the future.

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