The number of IT staff working at large government departments has dropped by almost 10 per cent over the past three years as austerity measures take hold, according to reports.
The figures, obtained following Freedom of Information requests by The Guardian, show that between 2008 and 2011 the number of IT staff at the Department of Health plummeted by more than 40 per cent and at the Cabinet Office by 38 per cent.
Across Whitehall, the average number of IT workers in government departments fell by nine per cent, from 2,800 in 2008-09 to 2,555 in 2011-12.
The government has engaged on an extensive cost cutting programme since coming to power, chiefly focused on renegotiating contracts and mothballing major initiatives that were deemed unjustifiable.
Last year, the Cabinet Office minister, France Maude, said it had already shaved £450m from the total government IT budget.
The latest figures, however, show that staff cuts have formed an integral part of the cost-cutting regime.
A survey of chief information officers by the government spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, highlighted the concerns many had over their ability to attract and retain skilled staff.
Meanwhile, the government has also had to fend off concerns about the numbers of Whitehall IT jobs that are going offshore, as its suppliers use offshore contractors to fulfil contracts.
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