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National Audit Office tears government's savings claims in HALF

The Channel - The National Audit Office has questioned the Cabinet Office's weighty ICT savings claims and revealed it still does not know how many small biz suppliers are winning public sector contracts.

Minister Francis Maude's merry band claims it saved taxpayers £702m on tech and comms spending in fiscal 2012 ended March - £354m through tighter spending controls and £348m by revisiting major supplier contracts, as has happened with Microsoft and others.

But the NAO claimed in a report today it could not verify the £348m figure being bandied about central government, due to a "weakness in data" held by the Cabinet Office.

It seems it was unable to rubber-stamp those claims, an insider tells us.

The remaining £354m savings boasted by Cabinet Office (£145m saved due to control spend, £64m from sharing ICT services on the Public Services Network, and £144m due to centralised procurement) were also scrutinised by NAO, which said only £316m met its criteria.