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...

Recent Blog Posts...

Hijacking Procurement
Ken Cole
Mar 25, 2013
Mr Pickles uses the 'P word'.
Ken Cole
Mar 07, 2013
Haringey Leads London
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Feb 14, 2013
Time to rethink Supplier Evaluation
Ken Cole
Aug 30, 2012
Smoke and Mirrors in Whitehall!
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Jul 12, 2012
Collaboration at its best
Ken Cole
May 25, 2012
Latest Procurement Card Scare
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Mar 21, 2012
iESE - a model for a Big Society?
Ken Cole
Mar 06, 2012
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
Ken Cole
Feb 03, 2012

The Start of a New Industry

Sep 16, 2010


At a time when the news is dominated by the spectre of major reductions in UK public sector spending and the resultant impact this will have on the private sector, it is nice to see a new industry forming. Although only at an early stage of development, it is likely to see public sector expenditure reaching unsurpassed levels of transparency and accountability. What is this new industry I hear you asking?

It is the publication of expenditure data demanded by CONDEM Ministers such as local government Minister, Eric Pickles. While the original intention of this so called transparency was a simple ruse to try to transfer attention away from the spending profligacy of our elected politicians, the reality is that expenditure data will now be public for the first time. Some consultants and expenditure analysis / software providers have seen this as an opportunity to charge the public sector a fortune in license fees so that it can be reproduced with flash graphics and the chance to benchmark with others. Nice money for some, but not the real prize.

The public sector should publish the data in its raw format – CSV files, spreadsheets etc which requires a simple extract from the creditors / accounts payable format. This costs next to nothing unless you have the misfortune to be the proud owner of a SAP system.

Here is the new industry in the making. Data intelligence experts have started hoovering this up at no cost to the public sector and turning it into valuable information that can be sold on to auditors, watchdogs, the media or indeed the public sector itself in terms of valuable reports. Trends, collaborative opportunities, profiles etc all can be identified quickly and without the need to buys consultants or expensive analysis solutions. If the public sector is clever, they could even negotiate to get these benefits at no cost to the taxpayer, as they are no the primary target audience for the new industry.

Watch this space as the new industry starts to grow!!


Your point about governments being spenders not earners is spot on. There are three factors in the UK as to why wealth gneration is not happening. Firstly, the number of real entrepreneurs / inventors is always going to small as a percentage of the overall population. Secondly, the UK educational system is failing people badly. It is driven by an outdated ideology - which regards excellence as unacceptable elitism and has pursues and false ideal called equality. As a result, many if tomorrow's innovators are trapped in a sea of mediocrity. Thirdly, it taxes hard work to pay for welfare programmes and wasteful projects and schemes dreamt up by politicians. The phrase good government is less government has never been more true!
Ken Cole
07/03/2011 17:46

The way to create jobs is for people to start to invent new technologies--new industries so there is new opportunities for employment. The govt doesn't invent anything or make anything or contribute to our GDP even if they count it--we know they are spenders not earners up there in DC.  But where are the bright inventing minds of our past? Why are there not new industries crop up to provide massive employment opportunities for the 16 million Obama ignores?
UK IT Consultancy
02/03/2011 07:18

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