Contractors working in the public sector are already starting to feel the squeeze as spending cuts get underway. IT firms who supply the public sector have been advised they will need to cut their fees by 20%. This request was made at a meeting of all nineteen IT suppliers to the government. At present these firms charge the government in the region of £16 billion.

Francis Maude, cabinet officer minister, confirmed that this “marks the start of the process to renegotiate key government contracts” regarding “everything” that these businesses “do for the government” in a bid to cut costs.

The suppliers involve include such technology giants as BT, IBM, Fujitsu, HP and Serco. According to IT analysts TechMarketView the government will probably choose to curtail the extent or length of contracts rather than seek to cancel them altogether. The government’s CIO, John Suffolk, will be the man responsible for the contract renegotiations.

Mr Maude commented: “Given the really difficult economic climate we now face, we have to do everything we can to deliver better value for money for taxpayers and that involves taking some tough decisions. I am laying down the challenge to major government suppliers to ask them what they can do to take costs out of contracts. Some of this will come out of margins, but we will also invite ideas on how we can structure things differently to reduce complexity and cost.”

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