08 July 2004
Whitehall is set to bring its annual £3 billion travel budget under a major framework agreement.
Hugh Barrett, chief executive of OGCbuying.solutions, the commercial arm of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), told SM that the deal will be for train and air travel.
The government is also to announce a framework deal with high-street shops, where it spends about £100 million a year.
Barrett said the money was spent by people claiming social security benefits with major retailers to re-equip their homes and to keep them clothed.
He estimated that OGCbuying.solutions handled £1.6 billion of a potential £25 billion annual budget, but thought this could be raised to £4 billion.
Barrett, who was attending the annual Procurement Solutions for the Public Sector conference, said OGCbuying.solutions would work more closely with all levels of government to help purchasers meet spending review targets. But he wondered whether the message was getting through to local authorities that his organisation could help.
Councils had to be shown that savings were there to be made on the bottom line if they used OGCbuying.solutions' framework contracts.