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Public sector analysis group GlobalData signals ICT spend dip

David Bicknell Published 10 February 2017

Spending on Whitehall IT staff increases as organisations ramp up in-house activities; outlay on outsourcing contracts declines

GlobalData Public Sector, the ICT analysis group, has signalled a decline in the public sector's ICT spend.

The organisation’s chief analyst Jessica Figueras is expected to outline details of the fall at the Think Digital Government 2017 conference today at the Business Design Centre in London.

Figueras will say that “growth in public sector ICT spend has slowed to near zero in recent years, and this is the first year we've recorded a slight decline to £18.75 billion in 2015/16.”

Figueras explained to Government Computing that, “Within this static picture there are some notable findings. We can see particularly that spend on IT outsourcing contracts has declined by over £116m. That would suggest that GDS' in-sourcing strategy has taken effect, although we can see the same in-sourcing trend at work outside of Whitehall too.”

She added, “At the same time, spend on IT staff has actually increased by £252m as organisations have ramped up their in-house activities. Most of that increase comes from central government, and probably reflects new digital development work as well as use of expensive contractors.

“This suggests that the in-sourcing policy has not saved money in the short-term; that's not to say that it hasn't provided other benefits though.”

The conference will hear from key figures at several Whitehall organisations, including Clare Moriarty, permanent secretary at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra); Olivia Neal, deputy director, Standards Assurance, at the Government Digital Service (GDS); Tom Smith, managing director of the Data Science Campus at the Office for National Statistics (ONS); Max Tse, director for transformation, at the National Audit Office (NAO); Betony Kelly, group head of strategic engagement, Digital Transformation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and former UKTI, BIS, and PHE digital director Rebecca Kemp.

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