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Change the way in which public sector IT projects are handled

Comment 2nd July 2010


Having a preferred supplier list for IT projects has led to the following issues:

  • The best company or team may never get an opportunity to bid for work. This not only restricts free trade but also stops the public sector from getting the best price and service
  • Currently there are individuals and companies acting as brokers – they take a cut, just because they are already on the Preference Supplier List (PSL) – they do not do the work
  • IT project experts are not consulted for the likely success of what may appear to be the most cost effective solution

The government should set up a body which uses IT professionals to review IT projects and contracts. This body could be made up of volunteers (I am sure many in my field would offer their time) who review the projects at inception and throughout the process until completion. This body would ensure that projects were broken down into manageable chunks which deliver real value in increments

Complex software and systems are implemented all of the time in the city and it is very rare that we go to the board without a staggered plan – the public sector needs to learn from the people who have successfully developed the major systems which power our economy

An IT community project should be set-up to investigate how IT could be used to improve the efficiency of our police force and councils

Why does this matter?


This idea is important as we see countless IT projects given to companies that then fail to deliver and charge the taxpayer a fortune for their failures. 

It is apparent that the people organising the IT projects have no experience in IT contract negotiation and how to successfully deliver large IT projects

ALL IT projects can be broken down into components; these can be given to different companies to reduce risk. NHS IT is a perfect example of a project that has been poorly managed and delivered to the benefit of the companies involved. This is not acceptable to the taxpayer

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