Data transparency initiative unveils the tech vendors that take home the most taxpayer cash...
Whitehall has revealed how much it spends with some of its biggest IT suppliers, as part of a public sector transparency initiative.
Government figures, aggregated by data company Timetric, show that from May to September this year central government departments spent almost £1bn with their biggest IT suppliers.
Among the highest earners were HP, which earned £311m from central government departments during the period, and BT, which earned £175m.
Both companies hold sizeable contracts with Whitehall: HP leads the Atlas Consortium delivering the £7.1bn Defence Information Infrastructure project to provide a single information infrastructure across 2,000 MoD sites worldwide.
Meanwhile BT is one of only two suppliers to the £11.4bn National Programme for IT, where it is primarily focused on delivering new Cerner Millennium patient administration systems to hospitals in England.
Other tech suppliers earning sizeable sums during the period include Atos Origin, which earned £128m, and IBM, which earned £96m.
Over the summer Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude led talks to renegotiate the contracts of the government's biggest suppliers, most of which are IT vendors. The renegotiated deals are expected to save government £800m this year.
The data on Whitehall's IT spend was released as part of an initiative to publish details of all central government spending over £25,000 from May to September.
The government pledged to release updated spending data every month from now on, through the government websites www.number10.gov.uk and www.data.gov.uk.
Maude highlighted the importance of transparency at an event in London on Friday to announce the release of the data.
"[Transparency] is the best way to hold politicians to account and ensure that we pay the best price for our services," he said.
"This process is going to be very uncomfortable for government and local authorities who expose themselves to scrutiny in this way. I would invite you all to hold our feet to the fire."
The government also announced that the public will have a right to data, enabling individuals to ask central and local government to publish datasets. It will be up to government departments to justify why they cannot release that information.