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Open source government needs open-minded procurement

Platform 10 - Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude declares the era of “Major IT Projects” over.

Few will disagree with his observation that the Government has provided “easy margins” for the incumbent IT giants, in fact most will go further and in plain language say that Public Sector IT costs far too much and fails far too often.

Simply getting an accurate figure on the spend is apparently not possible, the best-informed estimates vary from £14bn to over £21bn per year, whatever the figure it is too much – it is more than we spend on income support, more than we spend on the Department of Transport, more than we spend the Army… Worse still, the cost of just the mechanics of the procurement process is, frankly, appalling… We spend more on the IT procurement process than we spend on the Foreign Office – only Defence costs more to procure.