27 March 2008
The public sector has exceeded its savings targets outlined in the Gershon review, chancellor Alistair Darling has announced.
As part of his budget report, Darling revealed the public sector had delivered £23 billion of efficiency savings - £3 billion more than the £20 billion he claimed when announcing the pre-budget report in October last year, and £1.5 billion more than the initial target of £21.5 billion.
This figure includes £8 billion of savings from procurement. While the report added the figures had not been "finalised", according to Sir Peter Gershon half of the savings are cashable.
It was also announced the government would provide further practical advice for public sector buyers on sustainable procurement, dealing specifically with social issues. A new framework will be published including more practical advice on responsible purchasing and more information on the proposed "Sustainable Procurement Centre of Excellence", outlined in the government's response to the Sustainable Procurement Task Force (News, 15 March 2007).
A report, Infrastructure procurement: delivering long-term value, was also launched, highlighting new approaches to major procurements, such as PFIs.