11 October 2010
The Government has consistently failed to make the most of its scale, buying power and credit rating. That is the key finding of Sir Philip Green’s review into Government efficiency, which will be published later today (The Sir Philip Green Review [PDF 176KB, 33 page] ).
Sir Philip Green was appointed by the Prime Minister on 13 August to review Government efficiency. His focus was the procurement of goods and services like IT, travel, print and office supplies, and the management of the Government’s property portfolio.
For the review, Sir Philip and his team were given access to departments’ resource accounts and information on government contracts and leases. Their work has revealed the poor quality of much of the data relating to where and how Government spends its money. In addition, a lack of a centralised approach to buying goods and services has allowed departments to pay hugely different prices for the same items.
Sir Philip Green said:
“There is no reason why Government should not be as efficient as any good business. Any large organisation would want to use its credit rating and scale to buy efficiently. The conclusion of this review is clear - credit rating and scale in virtually every department has not been used to make Government spending efficient.”
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said:
“The scale of the waste uncovered by Sir Philip and his team is staggering. His review shows that for too long there has been no coherent strategy to make government operate more efficiently. We know that Government is very different to business. But that does not mean that it should not act in a more business-like manner. Every pound that we can take out of the cost of government is a pound we can protect on the front line. Our over-riding aim is to protect the quality of front line services and to protect the jobs of dedicated public sector workers.”
The full details of Sir Philip Green's key findings and recommendations will be published later today on the Cabinet Office website.
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