Government pledges to tackle IT failure

Government IT suppliers and consulting firms will be more accountable in the
future as part of a drive to wipe out the large-scale systems failures of the
past, the minister in charge of e-government will say later today.

In a speech to a London conference, Jim Murphy, the cabinet minister
responsible for e-government will pledge Whitehall will use better management
and monitoring of suppliers to ‘tackle the generic causes of failure’.

According to the Financial Times he will say: ‘We’ve had
high-profile mistakes in a minority of cases… we’re putting a system in place
now that should make that sort of systematic failure a thing of the past.’

Murphy will also add that an IT strategy covering the next seven to 10 years,
due to be published this month, will include the use of ‘government portfolios’.
These portfolios are designed to get the maximum advantage from the public
sector’s IT spend of £14bn a year by introducing controls on suppliers across
all the contracts they have with the government, rather than dealing with each
one individually.

‘At the moment, if you’re looking at a big supplier like EDS, they’ll have
one arrangement with the Department for Education, another with the Department
for Work and Pensions and so on. One of the things we’re committed to doing is
changing that to a system of portfolio management’, Murphy told the

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