By Tony Collins
In 2009 Francis Maude promised, if the Conservatives came to power, that his party would publish “Gateway” reviews on the progress or otherwise or big IT-based projects.
He was surprised when I told him that civil servants wouldn’t allow it, that they wouldn’t want Parliament and the media knowing how badly their big programmes were being managed. Maude said he couldn’t see a problem in publishing the reports.
When Maude and the Conservatives won power, the Cabinet Office promised in its forward plans to publish Gateway reviews but it never happened.
The Cabinet Office told me its forward plans were “draft” (although they were not marked “draft”) and the commitment to publishing Gateway reviews was no longer included. It didn’t say why.
Still Maude worked privately within government to persuade departmental ministers to at least publish the “traffic light” status of major projects – red, amber or green. Eventually this happened – sort of.
Senior civil servants and their…
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