Cabinet Office running out of time on shared services deadline

The Cabinet Office is running out of time on a series of IT deadlines in its business plans.

By the end of the month, the department is expected to develop a cross-government shared services plan. With the deadline three weeks away, work is still ongoing.

At the same time, it will have to provide an assurance and reporting regime for all major projects, aimed at improving transparency over progress and ensuring deadlines are met.

Additionally, the department is expected to realise savings within three weeks from central renegotiation of contracts – even though prolonged supplier talks continue in areas such as the NHS.

By the end of this month, the Cabinet Office is also expected to have produced a strategy on involving more small and medium-sized suppliers in its tendering processes.

Meanwhile, the department is now a month overdue on setting cross-departmental IT procurement rules. Last month, as it passed the deadline, the Cabinet Office insisted “strong progress” had been made, and that a team was in place for ‘skunk works’ or autonomous innovation groups.

The department said it continues to gather feedback from the market on suggested “standards”, before it can create exact rules. It is also considering the right for skunk works to contribute to buying processes.

The Cabinet Office did, however, say it had completed other IT-related work scheduled for the end of January, including decommissioning the controversial eBorders and FireControl projects, which were based around advanced technology but had hit delays.

It had not provided comment on the delays at the time of writing.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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