Public sector's IT waste disposal

Scottish public agencies have been advised to start sharing IT systems in order to save money

The public sector must start sharing more IT systems to drive down costs for the taxpayer, as unnecessary duplication is "no longer sustainable" according to the Scottish Executive.

The Executive's 'Scots Connects' programme has worked with Objective and LogicaCMG to develop public sector-specific systems, including a networked desktop package and electronic records and document management.

The Executive now wants agencies to see whether they can use the packages to bring down their costs.

"By adopting these existing systems agencies can avoid costly work on developing their own ICT solutions and achieve significant savings," John Elvidge, permanent secretary, said in a statement.

Elvidge said that as well as IT other areas such as procurement, HR and finance should investigate the opportunity for "significant savings" that sharing can offer by reducing duplication to free up extra resources for frontline services.

He said savings of up to 30 percent are possible, while improving service at the same time.

"Public agencies in Scotland must now start to look seriously at the support services they need and how they might be shared. The current position is no longer sustainable," he warned.

Scots Connect services are already being delivered to more than 8,000 public servants across Scotland, including the General Register Office for Scotland, the Scottish Public Pensions Agency and Communities Scotland.