The chief information officers of UK government departments “have struggled for influence”, according to a new report from the National Audit Office.
In 2010, just four departmental CIOs sat on their division’s executive boards, it found, and “many are not routinely involved in investment approvals even when ICT forms a key part of an investment case”.
In a broad investigation into the way the government manages IT projects, the NAO found that project governance is “fragmented” and “has not always been in place, evidenced by the high numbers of ICT projects failing to deliver business benefits in the past decade”.
The report includes details of the present government’s ongoing IT project rationalisation programme. It reveals that government departments have identified 229 projects worth less than £50 million that should be cancelled, with a possible combined saving of £1 billion over the next five years.
Two major projects, worth a combined £2 billion, could be axed, while a further 52 could be “rescoped”.