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25 July 2013 | Will Green
The Isle of Man government says centralising procurement has generated savings of more than £2 million in two years.
Civil servants from across nine government departments in the crown dependency were brought together in a specialist procurement team in the Treasury in 2011 to focus on “achieving better value for taxpayers’ money while supporting the local economy wherever possible”.
The move was also intended to improve “standards, efficiency and transparency” in the government tender process and award of contracts.
Treasury minister Eddie Teare said: “Government spends a considerable amount of money on the things it needs to provide a comprehensive range of services to the Manx public, so it made sense for departments to work together to achieve the best deal for the taxpayer.
“I am pleased to say that the success of the central team has exceeded our initial expectations, with savings in excess of £2 million. Driving forward efficiencies and cost savings in the public sector is absolutely vital in the current financial climate.
“Procurement also has a wider role to play in terms of stimulating the local economy and ensuring government spends money on the behalf of the taxpayer in a fair, open and transparent manner.”
The seven-strong team is led by Neil Davidson, the government’s head of procurement, and so far there has been a 150 per cent increase in government tender activity. A new standard tender process has been put in place that is “far quicker than its UK equivalent”.
The team oversees a budget of “tens of millions of pounds” covering areas including cleaning contracts, IT, professional services, energy, office supplies and outsourcing. A committee of politicians has also been established to oversee the work of the procurement team.
The UK government yesterday announced it would be centralising procurement with the creation of the Crown Commercial Service.