Headlines: October 9th, 2000

The billion pounds from this year’s spending review for boosting electronic service delivery is to be directed in large part to make the public sector better at procuring services than the private sector.So said Andrew Smith, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, as he opened the CCTA ‘Championing Electronic Government’ Conference in London.

In his speech he outlined how he sees the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) developing. He said the OGC was an essential development in government being able to increase its procurement expertise needs – specifically to specify requirements more clearly, and to negotiate with the private sector on equal terms or better.

Focussing especially on IT projects, he said that there had been some pioneering work done in the past, but this had not been managed well.

He further outlined the role of the OGC in improving IT projects – helping departments with their own projects and where a Government-wide approach is needed it will manage commercial relationships on behalf of departments.

He said the IT Projects Review was about helping departments to get large projects up and running and on budget and was already delivering great benefits – such as the deal with Vodaphone that will save the Government thirty eight million pounds over the next two years.

The OGC is now developing a ‘gateway process’ to handle large complex and novel projects, especially in Information Technology. The concept comes from industry where it has proven to be a valuable tool in managing all aspects of projects, organisational, risk management and business case as well as technological aspects.