Whitehall tries to get smaller businesses a piece of the action
Just 11 companies provide around 80 per cent of government IT in the UK, it has been revealed, as Whitehall attempts to boost the number of small businesses providing technology to the public sector.
It is all part of an attempt to reduce the dominance of a small number of large companies.
The public sector accounts for 55 per cent of IT spending in the UK. But in 2002-03 just five companies accounted for 60 per cent of government IT contracts.
These figures come from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) earlier this year, though the PAC reckons the supplier base has recently broadened so that 11 companies now provide 80 per cent of government IT.
According to the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) those 11 companies are (click on each name for more details) Accenture, Atos Origin, BT, Capgemini , Capita, CSC , EDS, Fujitsu Services, IBM, LogicaCMG and Siemens .
The OGC wouldn't reveal to silicon.com how much the government spends with each of the companies listed.
The government is trying to get more small companies involved with public sector tech projects, according to the OGC, which is responsible for IT procurement.
It is setting up a National Opportunities Portal to advertise government IT contracts that might otherwise be missed by smaller suppliers.
The portal will become the main gateway for businesses looking to supply goods and services under £100,000 - including technology - to local and central government.
It is hoped that larger suppliers - who usually win public sector mega-contracts - can also be persuaded to use the site to attract SME suppliers as subcontractors. The portal is intended to go live by the end of the year.
An OGC spokesman told silicon.com: "We are very keen to see more small and medium-sized IT suppliers coming into the marketplace and it's not the government's intention to limit suppliers either by size or number."
MPs have called for the government to procure more of its IT from UK companies.
Labour MP Chris Bryant told the House of Commons: "The government are probably the biggest commissioner of IT in the country, yet all too often we end up buying American products off the shelf. We could build an innovative and imaginative UK IT industry if we were able to invest more sensibly and creatively."
Click here for more details of each of the top suppliers to government.Accenture