Annual spending on parliament IT increases nearly tenfold in space of six years

Written by Sam Trendall on 17 February 2020 in News
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Figures show almost £8m invested in new equipment in FY19

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

In the 2019 fiscal year parliament’s annual spending on new IT equipment was almost 10 times higher than it was just six years prior.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2019, the Parliamentary Digital Service spent a record £7.88m on tech purchases.

This figure – which “may not include all expenditure by the House of Lords” – has grown in five of the last six years. During this time it has risen from just £858,000 in the 2013 fiscal year, to the current tally of almost £8m.


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Parliament’s yearly spending on tech was fairly steady in FY14 and FY15, coming in at £1.37m and £1.46m respectively. 

The following year it ballooned more than threefold to £4.8m, before rising again to £6.1m in FY17. 

After dipping back to £4.89m the following year, there was another steep rise – of £3m – last year.

However, spending appears to have fallen back in the ongoing 2020 fiscal year, with spending so far – just six weeks from the year’s conclusion – standing at £2.27m. 

Spending information was disclosed in a written parliamentary answer given by Scottish National Party MP Pete Wishart, in answer to a question posed by Green MP Caroline Lucas.

The Perth and North Perthshire MP serves as spokesperson for the House of Commons Commission, a collection of MPs tasked with overseeing the operations and administration of the houses of parliament.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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