Shared printing solution and cross-government Wi-Fi also included in Common Technology Services plans
A dashboard to provide a view of government IT contracts is in the pipeline from the Common Technology Services (CTS) team in the Government Digital Service.
Iain Patterson (pictured), director of CTS, has indicated that the move will be part of its effort to prevent duplication in the development of government systems, and to make procurement more effective.
In a blogpost, Patterson says the dashboard reflects the intent to increase transparency around government’s use of IT and enable departments to make better informed decisions by sharing knowledge.
CTS is working with the Crown Commercial Service on building the dashboard to record technology, capabilities and the change portfolio across government.
“These will help us understand why departments are requesting money to spend on their IT, the impact of the changes they want to make, and to help prevent them building or buying something which is available elsewhere in government,” he says.
He provides no further details but says they should be available soon.
Other initiatives include cross-government Wi-Fi and a shared printing solution. The latter is aimed at reducing the amount of onsite equipment and should be able to connect to multiple local networks and cloud services, provide encryption and other security mechanisms.
“We’re also providing specific support for major contract exits,” Patterson says. “IT contracts worth £8 billion are ending during this Parliament, with £4.8 billion of these expiring over the next two years.
“We’re going to be working with lots of departments and agencies to help them work out how to exit those contracts and what to do next as part of a cross-Cabinet Office Strategic Support Team initiative.”
He also says there are plans to strengthen and expand the technology communities of interest across government, such as those for open source, interoperability, Office 365 and safe and filtered internet, and emphasises the intent for government to move away from using onsite legacy software and systems in favour of cloud based collaborative tools.
Picture from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0