Osborne announces Spending Review – wants YOUR ideas

Big announcements today about the forthcoming spending review.

I am impressed with the whole approach to date re the 'cuts'; the ideas of involving the public and interest groups, the star chamber of Ministers and so on.  All very well thought out and designed to make the process not painless, which is impossible, but to maximise the widest possible buy-in.

And this from the Treasury announcement was interesting:

The Government will require the input of the brightest and best individuals to achieve the optimal outcome in this Spending Review. Therefore, it will form a Spending Review Challenge Group of experts – both from within Government and outside – to act as independent challengers and champions for departments throughout the process. Their remit will be to think innovatively about the options for reducing public expenditure and balancing priorities to minimise the impact on public services.

And this:

The Government will also organise a series of events over the summer to discuss and debate various aspects of public spending. The line-up of events will incorporate many of the key areas that need to be considered as part of the overall SR process. A range of people will be invited to these events, to make sure that they represent a wide spectrum of expertise and viewpoints. Invitees will include members of think tanks and interested groups, academics, representatives of local government, business and trade unions, and public sector experts and watchdogs such as the Audit Commission.

So let's hope we can get some procurement input to these events and the Challenge Group, because we will need a level of sophistication above and beyond "asking the top suppliers to reduce their prices".

On that note, I am beginning to hear stories of suppliers politely giving the government their response to that request....you can probably guess the general content!

And Ben Brogan in the Telegraph today is the first major commentator I've seen to pick up on something we said here ages ago (e.g. here in terms of the Becta closure): that redundancy costs will be a major constraint and issue in all this.

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