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Cabinet Office spends £12.4m on IT services business case assessment

The Cabinet Office (CO) approved a £12.38m spend on a business case assessment of the options for a new set of IT services. 

As part of its IT transformation project, which will include a new official security tier, the CO is building a new enterprise IT service for its official information to replace its legacy service, which is nearing end of its contract with the existing supplier. 

The new service will also be rolled out to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, who are co-located with the CO and have almost identical technology needs. The service will serve around 3,500 users based across 20 sites. 

However, the latest spend is only on the business cases for the project – not the technology itself. Also, during Q2 (July to September), the CO approved a £340,000 spend on a tool that will allow members of the public to search for government property that is available to rent or buy. 

The government currently runs a scheme where businesses, charities and social enterprises can apply to rent office space from the state. It offers  different types of workspaces (including offices, workshops, retail and lab space) with workstations, wi-fi and meeting rooms throughout the country. 

Recently, the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) stated in its ‘Startup Manifesto’ that government could expand its scheme allowing companies to rent unused government office space for free. 

Guy Levin, executive director at Coadec, told PSE, the scheme is currently “poorly publicised”. In fact, no startup Coadec asked, as part of its Manifesto, had heard the scheme existed. 

“The next government should signpost this scheme more effectively, list more excess public sector office space, and open the platform to private and commercial holders of office space so they can also list their space,” added Levin. 

In addition to the spend on IT, during July to September, the CO spent £1.523m on consultants as “appropriate resource was not available in-house”. 

Breaking the figures down, the Civic Service Group spent £180,000 on HR consultancy; Fraud, Error, Debt spent £58,000 on financial consultancy; the DMI (Debt Market Integrator) project spent £49,000 on project consultancy and the Major Projects Authority spent £900,000 on the same. The solar project (£240,000) and the corporate cluster (£96,000) brought in financial consultants. 

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