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200m unaccountable in school ICT procurement

Becta cannot account for over 200m of taxpayer’s money spent on software for schools according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The quango set up to monitor ICT in schools is unable to account for over 200m of taxpayer’s money spent on software for schools according to a recently published report.

Using data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the report published by Open Source company, Sirius Corporation, also criticises the ’closed shop’ mentality of Becta in their promotion of favoured suppliers and that this has resulted in the excessive spend and a distortion of the ICT market in schools.

The report concludes that over two-thirds of the expenditure with accredited suppliers is impossible to track. However it is clear that licenses and services supplied by global proprietary software vendors and a single hardware supplier account for 70 of all sales.

Dr John Spencer, Head of Education at Sirius Corporation and the author of the report said: "It is unacceptable that so much money should be spend so indiscriminately. Becta appears to operate a closed shop of ICT vendors which is limiting innovation in schools."

The report can be found at www.siriusit.co.uk.

© 2006 itWales. Original article by Anonymous

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