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'We've saved more than £14bn over the last year,' claims government CTO Liam Maxwell

Computing - Government chief technology officer Liam Maxwell claims that the government saved more than £14bn on IT procurement and services over the last year compared to the cost of IT services in 2010.

Maxwell, who answers to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude MP, was making the claims as he gave evidence on IT services before the Public Accounts Committee this week.

He said that the current government, which will go to the polls in May next year, was battling against 25 years of established IT procurement practice, which in many cases did not deliver value for money. Among the measures that Maxwell has brought in is a strict limitation on the size of IT contracts, while ensuring that they are no longer than necessary, either.

"The problem that we have, and the inheritance we have had of 25 years of outsourcing IT, is that people felt it was acceptable to go and buy IT at very high cost and at very high margin without any reference, peer review, understanding or spending control. This [new measure on IT contract size] is part of that spending control process, and it is part of the reason why we have saved more than £14bn over the last year, based on 2010 baselines," Maxwell told the committee.