Government procurement to be centralised

3 Jun 11
A central team will take over the purchasing of goods and services across Whitehall, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced today.

By Vivienne Russell | 3 June 2010

A central team will take over the purchasing of goods and services across Whitehall, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announced today.

It is hoped the move will save £3bn a year by 2015 – 25% of current government spending on common goods. It follows the conclusion of retail mogul Sir Philip Green's efficiency review, which reported last October, that the government could take better advantage of its buying power.

Maude said it was ‘bonkers’ for different government department to be paying different prices for the same items. ‘We are putting a stop to this madness which has been presided over for too long. Until recently, there wasn’t even any proper central data on government spending.’

The team, to be called Government Procurement, will be partly based within the Cabinet Office with support from buying experts in individual departments.

Maude also announced that steps would be taken to obtain more goods from small and medium-sized suppliers. The aim is for 25% of government business to be carried out with small and medium-sized enterprises.

‘SMEs can provide better value and more innovative solutions for government, and the actions set out today will support their growth as the economy starts to recover,’ Maude said.

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