Report: Major IT firms are ripping off the UK government

In the United Kingdom, a committee of MPs has found that major IT firms have been ripping off government departments when it comes to purchasing and installing new IT infrastructure. The report claims that some departments were paying as much as 10 times the retail, commercial prices for new PC hardware, sometimes costing up to £3,500 (US$5,700) for a sole desktop PC. The committee stated that an "obscene amount of public money" was being wasted on IT.

The report recommends that government departments move away from large firms and source their IT needs from small and medium-sized businesses to avoid being ripped off, as the UK government attempts to reduce the budget deficit. The government claims departments had paid IT contractors 7-10 times the going standard rate, and that this must be stopped.

The lack of IT skills in government and over-reliance on contracting out is a fundamental problem which has been described as a 'recipe for rip-offs'. IT procurement has too often resulted in late, over-budget IT systems that are not fit for purpose.

The report warns that departments must be more “intelligent” when dealing with IT suppliers to avoid being ripped off in the future, after it slammed the overall record as “appalling. ” In the UK, the previous government spent £16bn on IT projects in 2009 and the current government is attempting to end the gross waste of money in the sector.

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