The UK's Chief Information Officer, John Suffolk has given advanced notice to a number of Government departments that spending on Information Technology projects is about to be seriously curtailed.
A high-ranking Government IT manager, who has asked to remain anonymous, has told us that Suffolk intends to brief the council of information officers any time now, and that a complete moratorium will be imposed on any new projects with a spend in excess of £1 million.
In terms of Government IT projects, £1 million in not a great deal of money and our source tells us that the number of projects affected by the announcement could run in to "many hundreds".
David Cameron has made it clear that cuts will be deep and brutal, and that most of the savings will be made by trimming the fat from departmental spending. But with 70 to 80 per cent of Government IT projects currently being outsourced to the private sector, the implications for IT companies currently involved in such work are unsettling to say the least.
Any company currently pitching for a Government contract had better start looking elsewhere.
THINQ spoke directly to a flustered-sounding Suffolk who told us that he wouldn't make a comment, but that an announcement would be made by ministers in the next few weeks. "You'll just have to wait," was all he would say.
The Government is today releasing details of brutal cuts it plans in other areas, with Chancellor George Osbourne spelling out a projected plan to make £6.243 billion in savings.
Osbourne has just now warned that more cuts are on the way.