Government IT budgets require further scrutiny

The Government has made significant progress in reversing its catastrophic IT overspend in the last year. However, as one IT firm argues, public sector bodies should focus much more on their pool of suppliers to ensure that they are receiving the best quality solutions as well as competitive costs.

With cyber security such a major threat to data held by both public and private sector bodies and organisations, communications specialist and cloud computing firm Qubic argues that investment should be focussed on the firms that deliver the most effective solutions for such specific risks. It says the Government needs to consider accredited Tier II suppliers who are viable and offer better value for money, saving millions in the process, allowing savings to be used to bolster frontline services.

Chris Papa, the Managing Director of Qubic said, “Historically, the bigger suppliers have taken the lion’s share of public sector contracts partly because of the tendering requirements, and partly because of the fear factor as there was a perception that ‘bigger’ provided a measure of security. However over the years there have been some very high profile failures and suppliers being taken to court because of an inability to deliver on time and on budget.”

Last year, the Government was criticised by an all-party committee report for spending seven to ten times more than the standard rate for its IT work. Although it has since started to rein in such practices, it is argued that public sector departments still need to assess their procurement policies; driving down costs while ensuring that security and quality of service isn’t compromised.

Chris continued, “In today’s tough economic environment smaller companies and cloud computing have driven wholesale change, and as public sector departments look for specialisation as well as savings, this has opened the door to smaller suppliers that typically are specialists, can react quickly and have a more favourable price strategy.