12 March 2009 | Jake Kanter
The government could save up to £24 billion over the next seven years through improved collaborative procurement, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
In its study Dealing with Debt - Reforming public services and narrowing the fiscal gap, the consultancy called on public sector organisations to lead the way in promoting coordinated purchasing.
PwC said individual bodies must become "pathfinders for procurement" and provide ideas and tools for other organisations to enter into collaborative deals.
It said stakeholders must also play a part in convincing other public bodies to engage with the scheme, so that eventually collaboration can build momentum.
PwC's proposals were in response to the Treasury's Operational Efficiency Programme, which identified savings of £5 billion over the next two years.
It argued the government could save a total of £37 billion by 2016. Including its £24 billion savings estimate for collaborative purchasing, it said £8 billion could be cut from back office and IT budgets and £5 billion from property and facilities.