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Government plans new 'data centres'

A new IT strategy that will see Government-held data housed in up to 12 “secure” buildings could save taxpayers £3.2 billion a year from 2013, according to ministers.

Data is currently stored in hundreds of different locations, but several cases of sensitive and personal information being lost by Whitehall departments and agencies have seen the system dogged by controversy.

The proposal says the current system should be streamlined to “approximately 10 to 12 secure, resilient centres”, cutting power and cooling requirements by 75 per cent and saving £300 million, with the aim of making public sector IT carbon neutral “across its lifecycle” by 2020.

The blueprint also outlines the creation of a so-called “G-cloud” secure online network to make it easier to ensure the right tools are being used and less costly to switch suppliers.

It will also be accompanied by an “application store” for all parts of the public sector to share and re-use basic software such as word processors, saving around £500 million a year.

Cabinet Office Minister Angela Smith said: “Our new ICT strategy is smarter, cheaper and greener and will save the public purse £3.2 billion annually.”