The government is scrutinising the way it buys IT in an effort to make its spending more efficient.
From this week, government buying will fall under the remit of the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), which is charged with keeping a tighter control over budgets.
The ERG will ensure that spending and investment is controlled centrally, and that IT is reused efficiently. The body will be overseen by Francis Maude, paymaster general and minister for the Cabinet Office.
"We want a slim but strong centre that can drive down the cost of government, so protecting as best we can the crucial front-line services on which our citizens depend," he said.
The government has also appointed three business leaders to join the ERG, namely Sir Peter Gershon, chairman of Tate & Lyle, Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director of Tesco, and Dr Martin Read, a non-executive director of Invensys, Aegis and Lloyd's of London.
"Our new board members will be critical in making this happen. [They] have varied business expertise combined with deep understanding of the unique challenges of government," said Maude.
"They will be energetic and challenging, and I am grateful that they have stepped up to offer their valuable services to the country."
Read, who led the 2008/2009 government review on back-office operations and IT across the public sector, added: "The long-term health of the UK economy is critically dependent on securing value for money across the public sector.
"The ERG has a crucial role to play in ensuring that cost reduction becomes a fundamental management objective in the public sector, and I look forward to supporting this initiative."
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