Tories would decentralise state information, says David Cameron

Tories would decentralise state information, says David Cameron

Large scale, centralised IT projects would be avoided in favour of "modular components"

Tory leader David Cameron has said that the Conservatives would avoid large-scale central IT systems such as the NHS National Programme for IT.

Cameron also praised open-source development, saying it would help smaller companies grow.

“We will follow private sector best practice which is to introduce open standards that enables IT contracts to be split up into modular components," he said.

"So never again could there be projects like Labour's hubristic NHS supercomputer,” - an reference to the National Programme.

Cameron said the Tories would create a level playing field for open source software in IT purchasing and open up the procurement system to small and innovative companies.

Addressing the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts in London Cameron said the reason for government IT failures was a desire to run large "closed" systems that "reduce competitive pressures and lead to higher risks and higher costs."

Cameron talked about open-source models such as Linux as a prime example of how liberating information could be beneficial to the economy.

Much of the speech by Cameron looked at how a more open approach to information could reform public services - the same topic covered by minister for transformational government Tom Watson in a speech earlier this week – prompting a disagreement between the parties over who came up with the ideas first.