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
Ken Cole
Feb 14, 2013
Time to rethink Supplier Evaluation
Ken Cole
Aug 30, 2012
Smoke and Mirrors in Whitehall!
Ken Cole
Jul 12, 2012
Collaboration at its best
Ken Cole
May 25, 2012
Latest Procurement Card Scare
Ken Cole
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

Where is my Pea-shooter?

Jun 09, 2010


The UK government today revealed it is creating a central Efficiency and Reform Group that will have “Draconian” control over government spending”, so reads a recent e-publication from Supply Management. I was most encouraged to see that standardisation and market leverage were now in the mainstream of procurement thinking.

The ConDem Team has been nicely softening us up for major public expenditure reductions since their elevation to Government last month. Also, most encouraging from my perspective has been the sight of OGC ‘upping its game’ and politicians recognising just what procurement can deliver in terms of cashable savings. I believe that public procurement should be tasked with delivering at least £17.5 billion cashable savings over the next three financial years.  

The new ERG seems a great way of starting the process……but wait. Supply Management has inside information and the first category that the ERG will be looking at will be…..OFFICE SOLUTIONS. Yep, that is right, stationery, copier paper, furniture….the stuff that should have been cracked and sorted years ago and is now in the shopping category

From a local authority perspective, this ‘category’ accounts for about 0.3% of total spend. It is like trying to use a pea shooter to stop a Chieftain tank. At least start with ICT, we know what can be achieved with that and it is worth getting out of bed for.


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