A Conservative peer and minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government has called on councils to do more to save money through procurement.
Baroness Stowell was speaking during a 'motion to take note...' debate in the House of Lords on the Local Government Finance Settlement – the annual determination of funding to councils.
She said: “It is estimated that some £2 billion a year is lost through local fraud. Local authorities spend £60 billion a year on procurement.
“There remains plenty of room for councils to save significant sums through more joint working, sharing back-office functions and using smarter procurement practice.”
Stowell added that “no council is yet fully realising the potential set out” in a document called Fifty Ways to Save the government that was published in December 2012.
“As one example, there are only around 20 shared chief executive posts in the country. There are plenty of other examples where local authorities have made significant strides forward in this area and demonstrated what is possible.”
In December, Stowell told the Communities and Local Government select committee that councils were ignoring advice from central government on procurement.