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General election could affect gov't iT projects

The general election, which has been called for May 6, could have major effects on current government IT projects.Depending on the make-up of the future government, public sector IT projects such as the ID Cards scheme could be scrapped.
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor on

The general election, which has been called for May 6, could have major effects on current government IT projects.

Depending on the make-up of the future government, public sector IT projects such as the ID Cards scheme could be scrapped.

Gordon Brown asked the Queen for permission to dissolve parliament on Tuesday morning, the BBC reported. A Guardian poll of various different polls put the Conservatives ahead on Tuesday, although whether the Tories are set to win any majority is a matter for debate.

The Tories have repeatedly said they will break up big government IT projects into smaller pieces, with the intention of opening up government contracts to smaller IT companies, should they win the election. A cap of £100m per project could be introduced under a Tory government, and open standards adopted.

As well as scrapping the National Identity Scheme, the Conservatives have said that they will dismantle the NHS National Project for IT (NPfIT), getting rid of its centralised systems and splitting them into local systems. The Liberal Democrats have also been highly critical of NPfIT, calling the scheme "a shambles" in December 2008.

Political parties have been keeping quiet about the future of the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), a government scheme to allow interception of web communications. Initially put forward as a scheme whereby all details of internet communications would have to be stored by internet service providers, the Home Office is still working on the project.

ZDNet UK understands that an incoming Tory government could launch a review of the IMP.

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