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G-Cloud receives warning light



A flagship attempt to revolutionise IT procurement across the public sector requires urgent action to address 'major risks or issues', the annual report of major project in government reveals today.

The Major Projects Authority's annual report for 2013-14 classifies the £105m G-Cloud project as amber-red, the second worst of five red to green classifications. In this category "Successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas. Urgent action is needed to ensure these are addressed, and whether resolution is feasible."

In all the report covers 199 major projects, on which the government has committed £488bn over the next 20 years. In a foreword to the report, the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says that overall the management of major projects is making "significant progress". This year, he said, "half of the projects with the most significant challenges improved, while our work to develop our people has meant we are relying less on costly consultants."

However one of the highest profile projects, the DWP's universal credit, escapes classification as a 'reset'. The DWP's narrative comment says: "Delivery remains on track against plans announced on 5 December."
G-Cloud4 moved to the Government Digital Service (GDS) in mid-2013 as a transfer from project status to business as usual, the report says. At the time of the move there were three areas of concern: it was not funded, it was under resourced and there was no benefits realisation methodology. "All of these were addressed."

Since then, the G-Cloud programme has been successful in achieving its aims to support the Cloud First strategy and increase sales to SMEs. Sales at the end of April 2014 have reached £175m, with 60% by volume and value being with SMEs, the report says. "There is a programme in place to increase the monthly sales figure further."

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