Buying Solutions likely to be downsized

4 February 2011
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4 February 2011 | Angeline Albert

UK public sector procurement agency Buying Solutions is expected to be scaled-down and focused on central government purchasing after a review into its future is complete.

John Collington, director of commodity procurement at the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), is conducting the review which will also examine the future funding status of Buying Solutions. One possible outcome is that it will cease to be a trading fund by 1 April and could be solely funded by the taxpayer. Ministers are expected to consider the implications of the outcome of the entire study in March.

Buying Solutions currently manages national framework agreements for the whole public sector. If the organisation is shrunk, it is not yet known whether new deals will be open to the wider public sector. In the meantime, its existing operations remain unchanged.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “The review will examine how the trading agency will operate as a key part of the centralised category procurement programme. In common with all public sector organisations, it is expected that a transformed Buying Solutions will need to be leaner and more efficient.”

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the Sir Philip Green review reinforced the need to push forward with work on centralising category procurement. He said “a transformed Buying Solutions will take its place at the centre of this work”. 

Buying Solutions’ staff were informed of the news last week.

Last June, SM reported that the ERG had taken control of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and Buying Solutions.

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