David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has called the government to broaden its base of IT contractors away from large technology companies like Capita.
Rather than simply being reserved for the “the big players”, the Tory leader said contracts for the supply of services to the government should go to smaller outfits.
These outfits might be voluntary groups or small firms, but both would typically be “inventive and doing exciting things,” Mr Cameron said in a speech in London.
His declaration, reported by Bloomberg, marks the second time that the Tories have supported, in their words, freeing the state from “monopoly supply” situations.
Mr Cameron said: “At the moment in the civil service there’s a sort of mentality of ‘no one got fired for giving the contract to Capita.’
“We’ve got to have a culture that’s a little bit more experimental and is prepared to take a bit of a leap sometimes with a small organisation.”
In January, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, set out a “better IT deal for the taxpayer” to save £600m a year by opening up Whitehall’s IT procurement process.
Under the plan, a big software project would be split into chunks, manageable for multiple firms using open-source, instead of being left whole for a single IT company. Mr Cameron’s singling out of Capita came amid reports that the outsourcing group’s multi-million pound contract for National Strategies for schools would not be renewed.