Government departments have revealed millions of pounds worth of IT contracts that have been scrapped in recent years.
The news comes weeks ahead of a Spending Review in which many more projects are expected to be dramatically scaled back, alongside day-to-day IT budgets being cut.
Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart has been writing to government departments requesting details of IT contracts cancelled over the last five years.
The Ministry of Defence says it cancelled its £4.8 million Land Information Architecture Office project after a review.
The Department of Health listed the cancellation of Fujitsu's £1.1 billon local service provider contract in May 2008, which was part of the ill-fated National Programme for IT. Whether the department is being economical with the truth, however, is subject to question. It agreed to pay BT £546 million to take over work from Fujitsu following its withdrawl from the NHS programme,
The Department of Health also said it had cancelled a £55 million helpdesk contract with Fujitsu in March 2009.
More recently, Kew Gardens, which is a non-departmental public body under the auspices of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, cancelled a £140,000 back office project. That cancellation was made after the new coalition government came in.
Kew will instead share a system with other government bodies, and may signal the sort of savings the new government wants to see in the public sector following its Comprehensive Spending Review, which will be published later this month.
In further responses to Wishart's questions, the Rural Payments Agency said it ended a broadband contract worth £870,000. And the Ministry of Justice axed its National Enforcement Tracker System project in 2007, after finding the system did not meet requirements - it had spent £4.3m on this system before realising its shortcomings.
In addition, the HM Courts Service cancelled an electronic filing and document management programme in 2008, which had cost £6m since the project was started in 2005.
The Department for Work and Pensions said it axed a £6 million contact management services deal with IBM, and the Department for International Development abandoned a £7,000 IT project at its Pakistan office.
Central government’s IT suppliers are set to lose substantial revenue this year, as ministers can projects and renegotiate contracts, according to analyst house TechMarketView.
There will be up to a seven percent cut - around £700 million - in central government technology spending in 2010, according to analysts TechMarketView.
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