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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Rayner, Gershon, Green - the procurement studies mount up

Oct 11, 2010

 

It is not out yet, but we all await with interest the publication next week of Sir Philip Green's report on government procurement. The political spin machines have already been warming us all up with tales of bloated bureaucrats, working 9 til 5, wasting taxpayers' money and shock horror paying different prices for photocopier paper - real budget reduction stuff!

Putting aside the sound bites that will get Daily Mail readers into a rage, one quote fromReuters was spot on and no person who understands public sector procurement would seek to dissent:

"The conclusion of this review is clear -- credit rating and scale in virtually every department has not been used to make government spending efficient," said Green. "There is no reason why Government should not be as efficient as any good business."

However, the second thing that struck me was that this was exactly the same thing that Lord Rayner reported to Mrs Thatcher and Sir Peter Gershon to Tony Blair and Martin Jay to Gordon Brown. As well as the private sector gurus there have been at least six procurement reviews since 1984, all of which have uncovered the same things as Sir Philip Green. . So why has nothing changed? What will make this report any different from those that have gone before it?

That, to me is the far more interesting question for debate, rather than Sir Philip’s latest discovery.

Comments...

Spot on Ken. The key will be when someone actually delivers any savings on the back of these reviews. Pointing these things out seems easy - actually getting the pubic sector machine to do anything about it seems exceedingly difficult. Perhaps it's more of a cutural thing?
Andy Brookes
18/10/2010 15:41

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