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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
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 data.gov.uk, 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
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.