The UK government is already behind its own schedule for reforming its IT procurement and project management practices.
This fact was revealed on a new government transparency website, which explains each department’s ‘business plan’ and their progress towards achieving it.
The Cabinet Office, which is overseeing government procurement reform as well as new transparency initiatives, has failed to enact two major changes to public sector IT purchasing.
The department was supposed to start publishing the details of all IT projects worth over £1 million in September 2010. It was also due to have published “guidance on the presumption that ICT projects should not exceed £100m in total value and the aspiration to reduce the scale of large ICT projects” by now.
These changes were announced in June 2010.
Some IT-related milestones have been achieved, the transparency site reveals. For example, the first wave of government IT projects to be axed has been identified and the power of the government’s CIO John Suffolk has been increased “to integrate ICT across government”.
The new transparency site also details meetings between ministers and companies or trade groups that took place during June and July 2010.
This reveals that Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude met with Microsoft, Cable and Wireless and BT to discuss government procurement, and Fujitsu for contract negotiation (Maude is known to have since met with other IT services providers to discuss contracts). He also met with PC and phone-maker Apple for an ‘introductory meeting’, as did schools minister Michael Gove.
In June, Prime Minister David Cameron met with social networking business Facebook “to discuss new media and transparency issues”.
Cameron’s second external meeting as Prime Minister was with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the site also reveals.