Government cuts procurement card spend by £45 million

28 October 2011

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28 October 2011 | Adam Leach

Spending on procurement cards in central government has been cut by £45.1 million compared with the previous year, figures published by the Cabinet Office show.

Details of purchases of more than £500 were published yesterday, and the department said the lower spending was a result of fewer purchases being made, rather than purchases being made by other means.

“The reduction in the use of the GPC is following on from the fact that new guidance has been introduced on how and where to use the card,” a Cabinet Office spokeswoman told SM. “We've limited first class travel for example and we've put in more stringent controls.” She added the guidance was issued as an internal memo to employees across government.

The Efficiencyand Reform Group now plans to use the data to identify areas where spend can be further reduced.

The Cabinet Office's own spending information, available on, revealed the department spent £5,480.40 on printing paper over the course of four days this April. The spokeswoman explained that although three of the purchases were made on the same day, they were made through a pre-agreed framework agreement. She also explained that the department is looking to reduce the amount of paper it uses: “The usage is in line with previous years but we are working with the Treasury to look at ways we can reduce usage.”

Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, said in a statement: “We said that we would reduce spend on government procurement cards and today we have the evidence.

“This is not the end - we will leave no stone unturned in our bid to save the taxpayer money,” he added.

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