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G-Cloud and other government IT projects “At Risk”

Government watchdog the Major Projects Authority (MPA) has warned that 20 major government IT projects, including G-Cloud, require urgent action.

The body’s 2014 annual report has classified 23 programmes as “red” or “amber/red” in an assessment of 199 transformative projects across the whole government since 2013.

G-Cloud is one initiative that has received the second-worst “amber/red” category, with the MPA claiming that this label is used when “successful delivery of the project is in doubt” and “urgent action is needed to ensure these are addressed and whether resolution is feasible.”

This is the latest blow for the procurement framework, following lots of criticism that not enough is being done to increase its visibility.

Despite this though, G-Cloud has enjoyed some recent success, including strong sales figures and the claim that buyers are able to save up to 50 per cent.

The Department of Health (DoH) has fared particularly badly in the MPA report - receiving the worst “red” classification for two of its projects.

The first of these is the PSN (Public Services Network) for Health (PSNFH) – a programme intended to provide the health sector with a wide area network (WAN).

However, the MPA claims it is unlikely this project will be delivered successfully because it depends on the N3 Extension, the second DoH initiative branded as “red.”

The N3 Extension is claimed to be a key part of NHS delivery, providing organisations with access to IT applications such as video conferencing.

Contracts for this service ended on 31st March 2014 and further funding was not approved, which is why the report has graded it as “red.”

Besides this, other DoH projects have received the “amber/red” warning; these are the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) Release 2 and the NHS e-Referral Service.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) troubled Universal Credit (UC) project also received scrutiny – it was not given a colour and was instead classed as “reset.”

This programme has met many problems and received much scrutiny since its beginning, including claims that it is a waste of taxpayer money.

The MPA gave UC its “reset” classification because of the money wasted when £40m of work was scrapped and the further £90 that is expected to be written off before it goes live.