BusinessCompany NewsNAO praises government over IT savings

NAO praises government over IT savings

The government's chief IT buyer, the Office of Government Commerce has been commended by the National Audit Office for delivering 60% more savings than expected.

Link: OGC seals cost-saving licensing deals

The public sector spending watchdog found that OGC saved taxpayers £1.6bn on procurement between April 2000 and March 2003, when it had been charged with making savings of only £1bn over the period.

The OGC has promoted best practice for procurement, helping departments make savings on routine purchases such as IT hardware and software.

It has also attempted to improve the procurement of large public sector IT contracts through the introduction of so-called Gateway Reviews – milestone checks to ensure projects are proceeding according to plan.

The Gateway Reviews will play an increasingly important role in helping meet its next saving targets, said an OGC spokesman.

‘We’ve see half of future savings coming from the Gateway process,’ he said.

The OGC has been set a target of £3bn in savings by 31 March 2006.

In meeting the latest targets, the OGC would need increased co-operation from departments, said Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO.

‘OGC has made a significant contribution in helping to achieve £1.6bn in savings so far, but a great deal more can be done. A higher-level commitment from departments to adopting good practice will result in greater value for money,’ he said in a statement.

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