10 September 2010 | Angeline Albert
The UK government is to encourage the sale of its surplus and second-hand equipment across Whitehall to raise revenue.
The Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence (MoD) will launch a pilot project this autumn to develop the MoD’s eDisposals service across central government to raise money to be reinvested in public services. eDisposals is an online auction site used to sell off items from uniforms to ships. A number of fire services are already using it to sell unused fire engines.
The initiative came from a submission to the government’s Spending Challenge website, which asked members of the public to come up with ideas to tackle the problems in public finances by saving or raising money.
Other ideas to be introduced include a reduction in the number of CRB checks for junior doctors, and sending National Insurance numbers in a letter rather than issuing a plastic card. These projects are predicted to save £1 million each, although a Treasury spokesman told SM no estimate for revenue from the auction site has been established.
Chancellor George Osborne said in a statement: “Over 100,000 suggestions have been put to us and now we’re starting to put some of them into practice. In doing so, we are directly tapping the experience of those working in the frontline of public services, instead of assuming ministers in Whitehall have all the answers.”
Other ideas submitted through the Spending Challenge are being reviewed by the government departments, and could be introduced as part of the Spending Review this autumn.