Policy

Buying and managing government goods and services more efficiently and effectively

Issue

We need to save money by improving the way we buy goods and services. We also want to use government’s buying power to help support the economy.

Actions

We are:

  • creating the Crown Commercial Service to advise and negotiate on behalf of all government departments and the wider public sector, to obtain better value services and save money for the taxpayer
  • making sure that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to government contract opportunities, making it easier for them to do business with us, and making sure that 25% of government’s spend, either directly or in supply chains, goes to SMEs by 2015
  • making sure that departments publish details of future projects and contracts on the Contracts Finder website every 6 months, giving businesses the confidence and time to invest in relevant skills, labour and capabilities to win these contracts
  • working to obtain simpler, more flexible EU procurement rules in Brussels – this should support economic growth by making the procurement process faster, less costly, more effective for both business and procurers; this will affect more than £45 billion of central government spend (more than £230 billion for the UK public sector) every year
  • helping commissioners of public services to become more effective through the Commissioning Academy
  • using commercial intelligence more effectively to improve the value gained from contracts across government

Background

In 2013 to 2014 our work on efficiency has helped departments save more than £3.8 billion.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, set up the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) in 2010. Its aim is to make sure departments work together to reduce waste and improve accountability across a range of areas, including information and communications technology (ICT), procurement, projects, HR and property.

Who we’re working with

We work with all departments across central government, suppliers of goods and services, and with the EU to simplify regulations. Increasingly we are also working with organisations in the wider public sector and we’ve established memoranda of understanding with other public sector buying organisations to form strategic partnerships and joint initiatives.

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