What Maude told 30 of the government's largest vendors

1 October 2010

1 October 2010 | Lindsay Clark

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has stepped up the government’s programme of renegotiating supplier deals during a meeting yesterday with 30 of its biggest suppliers.

The session, with firms from the construction, legal, finance and IT sectors, is the latest in the coalition’s bid to become a “single customer” and to eliminate the differences individual departments pay vendors for identical goods and services.

“It is about changing the way government does business over the long term,” said Maude, who is also joint chair of the Efficiency and Reform Group. “We’re going to be looking really closely at the way companies provide services to government and at what we can do to ensure we establish government as a single, more efficient customer.”

In July, Maude met with 19 top government IT suppliers and has since secured a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with three of them to reduce costs. “We expect more to be signed over the coming weeks,” he said. “When this first process is complete it is likely to deliver savings running into hundreds of millions of pounds. Although renegotiating contracts in this way had never been done by government before, it has proved to be a success for all sides involved, particularly the taxpayer.”

The government is seeking to reduce supplier costs in an effort to cut its £155 billion budget deficit.

Yesterday’s meeting included construction firms Atkins, Balfour Beatty and Carillion, legal firms Pinsent Masons and DLA Piper, together with financial and business services firms Deloitte, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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