Senior policy officer to the Prime Minister, Rohan Silva, has said that the government can look forward to cutting public sector spending on IT by £10 billion in the coming years. The cuts will not come at the detriment of digital services but due to their improvement, reports Computerworld UK.
This declaration was made at a special briefing at the Treasury held earlier this week in order to discuss the current state of the government’s digital strategy. The aforementioned savings are expected to result from a culmination of various IT initiatives which include the transfer of public services to digital channels, the adoption of open standards and the use of the gov.uk domain as a unified online portal for its IT services.
The success of the government's digital strategy will lead to the termination of “monopolistic IT contracts” in the public sector, a general increase in operational efficiency and the reduction of costs.
“It’s really interesting to remember where we were on this agenda two and a half years ago. In May 2010 there were 750 separate government websites, there was no Government Digital Service, even basic data about performance of public services and government spending weren’t being released,” explained Silva.
“People are talking about very big figures and potential savings in the Welfare budget, but it’s my view that over time we can take just as much out of IT. I think we can take £10 billion out of public sector IT spending in the years ahead, without any change in the experience for the citizen, other than it will get better.”
Government 2.0 figurehead Tim O’Reilly, another attendant at the Treasury event, echoed this sentiment as he praised the UK’s progressive digital policies.
“This is the new bible for anyone working in open government. Everyone around the world should be following this. If we can apply that as our scripture for government best practices at every level around the world we would be doing a fantastic service,” O’Reilly was quoted saying by the Wall Street Journal.