Budget and implications for public procurement

I don't think I have the energy to compete with the national press in terms of analysing the hundreds of pages of documents issued yesterday.  But just a few headlines of procurement and related interest, with links if you want to look for more. Here is the key document (Chapter 6 of the Budget report) with para numbers given below.

Efficiency savings (para 6.3 etc); public organisations are going to make lots more efficiency savings, much through procurement, which will mean they won't of course need to reduce front line services or lose staff.    In the 'Protecting Public Services' budget document (that's the one where all the cuts efficiency savings are described) consultants and consultancy are mentioned 8 times in the context of a source for savings.  So please drop a few pence in my hat when you see me busking in Westminster tube next year...

Interesting things are happening in the Shared Services arena (para 6.32) - 4 more Departments going to use DWP's shared service centre for instance.  I think this is an issue that has real potential and will go forward whoever wins the election (but note the risks ...)

More civil servants to be moved out of London (para 6.58).  Fine, right long term thing to do, doesn't save money in the short term though - relocation, redundancy, recruitment, new offices, furniture etc.  More work for procurement people.   Then lots of first class train fares back to meetings in London.

There's going to be "new strategic property vehicles by April 2011" (para 6.56).  I haven't researched what they are / will do yet but no doubt all will become clear.

SMEs (small businesses); as you may know from previous posts, I've done some work with OGC in this area.  Darling announced various initiatives flowing from the Glover review, including a commitment that 15% more government procurement spend would  go to SMEs (para 4.23 of this doc which is a different chapter).  A good thing - I would say that, wouldn't I - but an interesting challenge to implement 'departmental targets' for spend with SMEs, particularly given EU regs.

A detailed categorisation of public procurement expenditure in central government is being published - something worthwhile that OGC have been working very hard on for some time.  I haven't found  it yet but will link when I do!

But of course the most disturbing news is the additional tax on super strength cider.  Oh well, it's back to 'British Sherry' for me.....

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  1. Roger Lawrie:

    Tough measures need to be taken, but are they tough enough?
    Recognising this perhaps we should all consider what measures we can take to cut cost in other areas, energy use for example.
    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ycSc5mLgRM for another view.

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