Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said the Office for Government Commerce had ‘put structures in place to minimise the risk of future IT failure and that department and supplier behaviour is positively changing’, but added that it needs to ‘ensure that this momentum is maintained for improvements in IT procurement to be realised’.
The government had previously been highly criticised for its procurement of IT services, of which many projects ended up in high-profile failures – such as the problems encountered by the Inland Revenue’s tax credits system.
Although the Gateway Review process had most helped the OGC’s IT procurement, there was still a ‘major risk’ that projects were entering into this process ‘too late after the business case had already been prepared; and exiting too early – before assessments of the continuing need for service, value for money and contract management can be made’.
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