DWP increases contractor spend on Directgov

Government spending on contractors for the citizen website Directgov has nearly tripled since 2007.

The Department for Work and Pensions estimated that its spending on contractors in 2009-10 will total £8.2 million. This includes the cost of a strategic adviser for the year.

This represents an 11 percent increase on its spend in 2008-09 (£7.2 million) and nearly three times more than its spend on contractors for the website in 2007-08 (£3 million).

The DWP said in a parliamentary written answer that the increase from £3 million to £7.2 million was to deliver programmes "such as website convergence and cross-government service transformation".

It added that, despite the increased spending on contractors, the percentage of Directgov’s budget spent on contractors remained the same.

Directgov is working across all government departments to enable the digital delivery of public services, which the DWP said "has the potential to enable government to make substantial savings."

In 2007, the government announced that it would axe 551 of its websites, transferring any relevant information to its Directgov and BusinessLink websites.

Last week, the Conservative Party launched a Technology Manifesto in which it promised to open up the market for government IT contracts to more suppliers.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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