GDS Set To Receive Extra Budget

Oct 06, 2014

The Government Digital Service (GDS) will be receiving a funding boost as central government begins to move away from large expiring IT outsourcing deals over the next few years.

In July, the GDS plan revealed the organisation claimed to have “insufficient funding” and this was endangering its ability to hire the staff and skills it requires.

After a press briefing where he announced the appointment of a Civil Service CEO, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude was asked about extra funding to support Whitehall reform.

“There are a number of big IT contracts coming to an end in the next few years and there will be a big transition programme that will undoubtedly require more resources, but not, I suspect, forever,” he claimed.

As part of its digital strategy, the government is attempting to end the “oligopoly” of large IT suppliers who have traditionally served Whitehall with long-lasting locked-in technology contracts.

Figure Of Increase Unknown

The GDS budget for 2014/15 is £58.3m according to its business plan, with £12.6m coming from HM Treasury and £2.1m was transferred when the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) joined the organisation.

It is currently not known what this budget will increase to but Maude’s comments that its finances would increase in light of contracts coming to an end were supported by Civil Service Head Sir Jeremy Heywood.

“We said Departments need to have their own digital expertise as well and that’s something GDS has been promoting and helping to facilitate,” Heywood claimed.

“I would expect the increasing costs to be held in Departments,” he added.


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