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Big savings claimed for Government Digital Service



Government departments saved more than £60m in 2013-14 thanks to the porting of Whitehall websites on to, the Cabinet Office claimed today.

In savings cited in a report published on savings by the Cabinet Office's efficiency and reform group, the Government Digital Service stopped the Department for Energy and Climate Change setting up a new website to publicise the Green Deal policy. It also helped the DVLA to build a system allowing insurers access to driver data "at a reduced cost" compared with that quoted by the incumbent IT provider.

Meanwhile, the Department for Work and Pensions saved more than £40m on identity assurance during 2013-14.

Overall, the report says the government's efficiency and reform programme has helped save taxpayers £14.3 billion in 2013 to 2014, against a 2009 to 2010 baseline,

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, announced that the savings were "unprecedented".

Among the savings were:

Commercial relationships: £1,809m, including nearly £200m recovered from suppliers, saved "by better managing contracts and commercial relationships".

Centralised procurement: £1,490m "by centralising spend on common goods and services and by introducing policies requiring departments to purchase less".

Common infrastructure: "We saved nearly £120m from spending on telecommunications and hosting in a number of departments in 2013-14 compared to 2009-10."

On the Government Digital Service, the report claims savings of £91m by scrutinising ICT and digital spending requests.

The Cabinet Office said the figures come from internal "management information... evidenced, normally, by department reports". It has invited the National Audit Office to verify the statistics.

The government's Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Kelly, said: "Government buying power has a powerful role to play in supporting growth in the economy and our commercial reform programme is ensuring we're getting better services at better prices."

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