26 May 2010 | Nick Martindale
CIPS has warned the UK government’s new Efficiency and Reform Group to focus on creating value rather than just slashing costs.
Chief executive David Noble said: “There have been numerous examples in the past where cost-cutting exercises have led to lower value and ultimately long-term higher costs. This is why the Efficiency and Reform Group must focus on getting better value as much as it does on reducing costs.”
He added: “There are significant challenges ahead but this is a crucial step in ensuring professionalism and better communication regarding smart and efficient procurement across all government departments, and further proof of the government’s pledge to reduce our spiralling public deficit.”
Noble also repeated his warning against making snap decisions that could have damaging long-term consequences.
The new coalition government unveiled its plans on Monday as part of its announcement to reduce the public sector deficit by £6.2 billion this year.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and chief secretary to the Treasury David Laws will chair the new group. Laws said the body was needed to send a “shockwave” through government departments.
The government said it would also renegotiate existing contracts to save £1.7 billion and would reduce discretionary spending on categories such as travel and consultancy by £1.15 billion.
Cutting spending on lower-value items such as office equipment would generate a further £520 million.