We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
RSS FeedTechnology

Government centralises procurement of IT and other goods

No more wild price discrepancies for laptops and printer cartridges

Article comments

The UK government has centralised the procurement of common goods and services following the recommendations outlined in Sir Philip Green’s efficiency review.

The review, published last October, highlighted stark differences in costs that different government departments and agencies were paying for the same products. For example, departments were paying between £350 and £2,000 for the same laptop, and between £85 and £240 for the same printer cartridges from the same supplier.

As part of its changes to procurement processes, the government has created a central team, Government Procurement, which will contract for products and services at a single, “better” price.

The Cabinet Office believes that the measures will help the government save £3 billion a year by 2015.

Cabinet minister Francis Maude said: “It is bonkers for different parts of government to be paying vastly different prices for exactly the same goods. We are putting a stop to this madness. Until recently, there wasn’t even any proper central data on procurement spending.

“In the last year, we have already made significant changes to drive down procurement spend by £1 billion, but this new centralised service means we will continue to deliver savings which are expected to reach more than £3 billion a year.”

Meanwhile, Maude announced new initiatives to enable SMEs to compete with larger companies for government contracts.

Lengthy and costly government procurement processes have previously deterred SMEs from bid for tenders, but the coalition government has set itself a target to do 25 percent of its business with them.

Further to this, the government has now published a range of action plans for each government department, which include breaking large contracts into smaller lots, increasing the amount of information available to SMEs about contract opportunities and holding ‘product surgeries’ for SMEs to pitch innovative ideas.

For example, the Cabinet Office aims to adopt the new electronic ProcServe Dynamic Marketplace by September, to better manage suppliers and SMEs and provide access to centralised contracts and deals.

In addition, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is planning to work with its 12 largest suppliers, representing around 80 percent of third-party spend, which could include IT giants HP and Capgemini, to ensure they identify and engage with their own SME supply chains. This consultation has started and will finish by March 2012.

Ian Watmore, chief operating officer for the government and responsible for the government’s efficiency reform group, revealed the plans for a procurement reform to boost SME involvement in February, which started with the Government’s Contracts Finder, an online tool displaying information on all new procurement opportunities for central government worth more than £10,000.


Recommended Articles


Government centralises procurement of IT and other goods

Security technology checklist for CFOs

Security technology checklist for CFOs

Cyber threats are increasing in scale, scope and frequencymore ..

Google misses forecasts as cost per click revenue dips

Challenges in the mobile market continue to be a factormore ..

Well over a third of CFOs can't see the point of digital technology

Some 40 percent of finance chiefs adopt the ostrich positionmore ..

Diageo turns to tech start-ups to give it the edge

Wants to get ahead of disruptive innovation by putting it in the centre of its businessmore ..

Who needs big data anyhow?

OPINION: where next for the CFO’s big data budget?more ..

Why your online identity can never really be erased

Privacy advocates agree individuals need to take responsibility for their own privacymore ..

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

In Depth
Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Outdated finance processes, systems and competencies leave too many questions unanswered more ..

In Depth
Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Ed Harding offers an insight into the life of an interim CFO and the advantages in driving transformation more ..


* *