The Defence Select Committee has slammed the MoD for its poor information management, seen to be key to the Department ‘losing’ billions worth of equipment and goods.
The National Audit Office recently refused to sign off Defence’s books – for the fourth year running – due to its lack of satisfaction over accounting rigour, citing a "failure to adhere to the accounting standards required of government Departments".
The Scottish public sector could save up to £1 billion on ICT procurement costs over the next five years if radical changes were made to how technology is purchased, deployed and used, according to an in-depth review.
Written directly into the Coalition agreement: a commitment to get the SME sector to supply 25% of all UK public sector goods and services, including ICT. Or rather, in the more careful words of Stephen Allott, the new Crown Commercial Representative inside the Cabinet Office for SMEs, speaking at this week’s SmartGov procurement conference in London, it’s at least an “aspiration”.
The introduction of a standardised bar code system in the NHS announced today by the Government will save the organisation millions, according to Health Minister Simon Burns.
According to the Minister, the introduction of the system, described as “fairer and more transparent” will lead to significant savings for the NHS. The Department of Health said some hospitals in England current pay up to three times as much as others for consumables such as surgical gloves and stents.
The Cabinet Officer Minister, Francis Maude has announced a number of “significant changes” to the way the Government procures a range of goods including ICT and services, which it is claimed will save £3 billion per year by 2015.
The announcement comes as the Minister confirmed £1 billion had so far been saved on procurement.
More efficient procurement is top of the Coalition's efficiency and reform agenda, from Francis Maude's renegotiations with leading vendors through the creation of Crown Representatives to the appointment of a Chief Procurement Officer for government.
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has called on European institutions to reform EU public procurement, and argued ICT could “play a major role in simplifying the public procurement regime as well as reduce administration and costs”.
The Cabinet Office has confirmed the appointment of John Collington as the Government’s first Chief Procurement Officer.
Collington most recently served as Head of Procurement for the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group.