Government watchdog brands G-Cloud targets “unachievable”

G-Cloud has been slapped with a warning by a government watchdog that thinks the whole project is unachievable in a reasonable timescale and is among 20 different IT-related government projects to be given such a rating.

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A report released by the Major Projects Authority [MPA] gave the government cloud procurement programme a red rating and added that those organising the project should take “urgent remedial action” and this should be “a signal to ministers and officials that action is required and suitable mitigating measures [need to be] put in place.”

"It is important to note that a red or amber/red rating does not mean a project will be or should be cancelled, and the delivery confidence of many projects rated red and amber/red increases significantly as solutions are identified to challenges,” stated the MPA’s annual report.

The report doesn’t cite the exact reasons for the amber/red rating for the G-Cloud procurement programme and instead it mentioned a plethora of concerns that were identified by the Cabinet Office during 2013. This included concerns that it was not funded, was under-resourced and there was a lack of an agreed benefits realisation methodology.

The Cabinet Office did add that the G-Cloud programme has supported the government’s cloud first policy for central departmental IT procurement and additionally it has boosted sales to SMEs.

G-Cloud, which has reportedly eclipsed £175 million in sales since its launch in 2012, has been on the end of criticism on more than one occasion with a letter of advice penned by suppliers sent to the government back in January to urge to change its ways.

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Next on the agenda for the G-Cloud programme is to replace the CloudStore online marketplace with a new digital marketplace that makes it “easier for both buyers and sellers” to complete transactions and £2.283 million has already been set aside for its development in 2014-15.