Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Office of Government Commerce

Follow up to evidence session on 17 May

  Q93-95 In the Treasury's 2005 departmental report, OGG had a target of ensuring a 70% success rate in IT-enabled projects being on time, on budget and fit for purpose. In your latest annual report, you reported slippage in 2005, and have not reported progress in 2006. What progress have you made? [2]

  Thank you for the clarification of the sub-Committee's request for further evidence in relation to the above question quoted in Q93 to 95 of the transcript.

  When we first came to measure progress against the 70% success rate target the data suggested that our achievement was in excess of 90%, In the light of this very high figure I have taken steps to validate this, drawing on other data available to me.

  To provide a more complete picture, I am relying on the statistics we derive from Gateway reviews and my own reporting on Mission Critical projects to identify Government's progress in improving delivery. Gateway reviews in particular represent a gold standard, with independent expert reviewers analysing programmes using a well-tested process. I therefore base my decisions on the other more accurate determinations of project success, which were also reflected in the National Audit Office's own examination of IT projects in November 2004. For example, the evidence we currently have from the Gateway process shows, over the last two years, a 25% improvement in overall RAG status for IT projects that have undertaken more than one Gateway review.

  A further breakdown of the analysis shows that for the totality of projects, considerable success has been achieved in improving their performance. But closer examination shows that most of the improvement has taken place in high and lower risk projects whilst the same success has not been reflected in Mission Critical Projects. It is clear that they have a complexity and scale which require support of a different nature than just the Gateway process. Hence, OGC's focus has now moved towards engaging directly with the Key Programmes regardless of whether they are IT, construction or business change. We are now in the process of developing measures to assess progress in improving success in the Key Programmes—including exploring the potential use of proven, more robust techniques.

  I trust that this clarification is helpful to the sub-Committee.

June 2006

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