One of the UK’s high civil servants has claimed the federal government is closing the £100 million funding hole created by the Treasury when it provided £300 million for an important ERP refresh within the November 2021 spending overview.
Speaking to MPs, the chief working officer for the civil service and everlasting secretary for the Cabinet Office mentioned departments had initially sought £400 million for the spending overview interval to March 2025, however the Treasury provide was nicely quick.
Alex Chisholm instructed the Public Accounts Committee the preliminary determine was based mostly on “relatively speculative numbers.” Work between the Cabinet Office, the Treasury and particular person division clusters – teams of departments that are set to commit tons of of thousands and thousands in ERP software program and service spending within the subsequent 5 years – lowered these figures.
“We got them in much better shape,” he mentioned yesterday. “I think that given the timing differences and the potential from a competitive procurement, we’re probably going to be pretty close to what we need in that period. And already those initial business cases have been approved, so there’s nothing waiting on approval. All departments are steaming ahead. We’re in delivery mode.”
In November, an impartial spending watchdog mentioned the Treasury had already rejected all three from clusters with a mixed worth of £759 million as a result of they’d not developed “robust cost estimates or to consider fundamental elements of the Shared Services Strategy, including governance arrangements and cluster design.”
The Shared Services Strategy has 5 clusters, which it calls Defence, Matrix, Overseas, Synergy and Unity (see field).
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The money was set to “address the risk that departments could be left with unstable and unsupported systems in the interim.” However, entry to funding “was contingent on the approval of cluster business cases, which clusters only obtained in autumn 2022,” the National Audit Office mentioned.
The disparate projected figures exhibit the uncertainty surrounding the federal government’s Shared Services Strategy, which is projected to take a position £900 million in ERP techniques for central authorities departments. It primarily focuses on Oracle and SAP, however contains Workday, Agresso (now Unit4) and Microsoft. Chisholm mentioned the funding would create round £2 billion in financial savings in contrast with departments individually shopping for new techniques.
Since the spending overview, the Treasury has additionally authorized £80 million in extra funding for the Synergy group, which is made up of departments depending on the contract with Shared Services Connected Ltd (SSCL), a three way partnership between the Cabinet Office and French provider Sopra Steria. The authorities is negotiating to increase this contract earlier than it replaces it in 2025.
Debbie Alder, director normal for folks, functionality and place on the Department for Work and Pensions, denied the Synergy cluster can be held to ransom over the “burning platform” extension.
“They are potentially interested in the bigger prize, which is that in parallel, we are going out to tender for the longer term contracts, and that how we can try and ensure we avoid being held over a barrel,” Alder instructed MPs.
Meanwhile, the Matrix cluster has round £10 million in funding to make sure continuity of options by way of upgrades and extensions.
The introduction of the refreshed Shared Services Strategy in March 2021 disrupted ERP procurement in Whitehall. In March 2021, the Ministry of Justice, for instance, stopped its £100 million ERP procurement to get in line with the brand new technique. ®
…. to be continued
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