National Audit Office Press Releases
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Landscape Review. Information and Communications Technology in government

The National Audit Office has today published a review of how government uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to deliver public services. The review, the purpose of which is to inform the debate about government's new use of ICT, gives an overview of existing uses, as well as initiatives and changes underway.

It details a number of big challenges the government faces in protecting and improving the value for money of ICT and in ensuring that ICT is deployed fully in the drive to secure sustainable cost reduction.

In response to such challenges and a worsening financial situation, the government has made a number of changes, prominent among which was the formation in June 2010 of the Efficiency and Reform Group that is taking a new approach to securing value for money from ICT. The Group has been responsible for a number of new initiatives, including the moratorium on central government's signing new ICT contracts worth more than £1 million without agreement from the Minister for the Cabinet Office; a mandatory review of all ICT projects currently underway to identify waste; and a drive to renegotiate contracts with suppliers.

Most of the Group's initiatives are at a very early stage and it is too early for the National Audit Office to evaluate their effect. The spending watchdog indicates, however, that today's review will set the ground for future evaluations of these and other initiatives designed to achieve value for money from ICT spending.

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said today:

"Government is knowledge intensive. Effective information and sound ICT strategies go hand in hand. We will take a strong interest in future in how government is making the most of ICT to secure efficiencies and make possible new ways of delivering public services. At the same time, we will be looking at the steps being taken by government to rationalize its ICT, to achieve short-term cost savings."

Notes for Editors

  1. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is at www.nao.org.uk. Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
  2. The Comptroller and Auditor General, Amyas Morse, is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 900 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources. 

All enquiries to Barry Lester, NAO Press Office: Tel: 020 7798 7937Mobile: 07748 181692

 

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