About the Author

Ken Cole
SPS Consultancy

Ken Cole has worked in senior positions in both the public and private sectors and was one of the founding Directors of SPS in 2001. He recently completed a three year secondment as Director of the London Centre of Excellence. Ken has thrilled many public and private audiences with his incisive analysis, robust delivery and his belief in 'telling it as it is'. His blog is a regular commentary of the improvement and efficiency agenda.

Make sure you pay a frequent visit to find out Ken's latest thoughts on the workings of government, the latest policy initiatives and much more...

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Collaboration at its best

May 25, 2012

Hats off to the team that undertook the first ICT e-Auction for London local government in 2007 delivering £3.8M direct savings for the ten authorities. In 2009, they persuaded 47 public bodies to take part delivering nearly £10M to those taking part along the way. Now they have done it again with 47 authorities, albeit with a smaller amount of baseline business, but still another £2M+ saved. You can read how they did it in the press release here.

This team are incredible, showing what can be done by working together and proving just how much can be squeezed out of third party spend. You would have thought that hard pressed local authorities would have been queuing to join in. Some were, but lots of others were more interested in excuse finding. One large local authority declined to take part as there was ‘no evidence that the e-Auction will produce savings’. You know all the other excuses put forward. They are equally as convincing as those we put forward at school for not doing our homework.

It is widely known that Eric Pickles believes there is a lot more money to be saved in local government. On this evidence there clearly is. In category after category across local government, tens of millions could be saved through smart collaboration –yet we still read stories about the need to close libraries, care homes etc. Not if the London team were running things – they are a credit to public service.

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