Scottish public sector IT cuts still falling well short

Less than seven percent of the savings demanded from Scotland's public sector IT spend have actually been made.

Share

Less than seven percent of the savings demanded from Scotland's public sector IT spend have actually been made.

Halfway through a five-year time frame set out by the Scottish government savings programme, the Sunday Herald newspaper has reported the cuts demanded are falling well short.

The McClelland Review in June 2011 set out what the Scottish public sector was spending on IT and digital services, and claimed it could make savings of up to £1 billion over five years.

The Review said shared services, reducing duplication, and improved procurement and better management of outsourcers would help deliver the savings.

However, data seen by the Sunday Herald shows that, to date, only £56.1 million, or 6.6 percent of the minimum potential savings identified by McClelland, had been made.

A Scottish government spokesman told the paper: "A number of collaborative procurement frameworks are now in place and are being utilised by the public sector.

"There are more in the pipeline to deliver on key areas of the strategy, but the results to date confirmed benefits for Scottish collaborative ICT procurement are £56.1 million [for the spend period 2011-14]."

Review author John McClelland, who is chairman of Skills Development Scotland, said savings of between £875 million and £1 billion were "realistic", saying he assumed the "bulk of the savings would be made towards the end of the specified timeframe".

BT is suing NHS Scotland for damages over the £110 million Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) contract, after losing in its bid to force a re-run of the procurement process.

The telecoms giant had taken NHS Scotland to court over what it claims was a “flawed” tender process for a six-year contract that would have enabled councils and NHS bodies in Scotland to share information more easily.