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Government cost controls save £3bn, claims Maude

Kathleen Hall

The government has saved its target of £3bn in efficiency costs since last year, says Cabinet minister Francis Maude.

In a Parliamentary written answer Maude said The Efficiency and Reform Group had achieved the savings through areas of procurement including tightening ICT expenditure, renegotiating public sector buying contracts and freezing recruitment.

"We are currently checking our figures carefully, however I expect to announce shortly total savings for the year of over £3bn," he said.

The figure is in line with Maude's original cost-saving estimates.

Last week the Cabinet Office appointed John Collington to the newly-created role of chief procurement officer - tasked with centralising government spend on common goods and services. Previously Collington acted as head of procurement in the Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group.

Surreya Cansoy, director of public sector IT at Intellect, says the appointment will change IT project procurement.

"Simpler, quicker and more efficient procurement processes will benefit all suppliers and government, and reduce barriers to entry for new players. This will also enable the government to get to the project implementation phase faster.

"John Collington's experience in both the private and public sector means he is well placed to deliver this challenging agenda," she said.


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