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Government to strengthen procurement with spend analysis tool

7 July 2011

A new spend analysis tool covering all government departments looks set to be in operation by the end of the financial year.

The tender for a system designed to link up each of the existing departmental data-gathering tools for the first time will soon be put out by the Government Procurement organisation, Supply Management reports.

Chief procurement officer John Collington told the publication that procurement managers in the public sector require "readily available, meaningful data on spend and suppliers".

He added: "We've never had a joined-up technology strategy for government and one thing it's been criticised for in the past is an inability to produce readily available data [on procurement]."

In an interview published by Spend Matters this week, Mr Collington suggested the current drive to improve government procurement practices has a greater impetus and more high-level support than previous schemes.

He claimed the current initiative, which will aim to deliver annual savings of £3 billion by the end of March 2013, benefits from "direct political involvement and willpower".

The procurement leader added: "It's not just senior civil servants ... this has real Cabinet-level engagement and drive."

As well as centralising the procurement of commodities and services, the government is aiming to cut costs by renegotiating key contracts with its largest suppliers.

In November last year, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said a savings target of £800 million had been exceeded by agreeing new deals with the likes of Accenture, Logica, Capgemini, HP and Oracle.

However, Mr Maude is expected to tell civil servants this month that there is considerable scope for further savings.

Earlier this week, a report from the public accounts committee claimed the coalition's ICT strategy lacks sufficient measurements to assess whether it is achieving value for money.

It said there is no baseline to measure current performance, which makes success difficult to measure.

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Categories: Central Government

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