Prime minister David Cameron has announced plans for legislation enabling the emergency services to combine back office functions including procurement.
In a keynote speech today ahead of the upcoming spending review, Cameron said the government will reform public services, introduce more devolution and “continue to streamline more services”.
“Legislation will be introduced to enable the police, fire and ambulance services to combine back office functions, IT and procurement to save money,” said the prime minister’s office.
Cameron said insights from business should be applied to “develop a smarter state”, while “efforts to extend opportunity have been undermined by a tolerance of state failure”. He cites examples of the state's failure as children in care and prisons.
“Reform – be it breaking state monopolies, bringing in new providers, or allowing new ways of doing things – can cut the costs of these failures both economically and socially and help advance the progressive causes of spreading opportunity and enhancing social mobility that we should all care about,” he said.
The prime minister also said the government will accelerate the sale of assets that are no longer needed and for the first time public sector land will be sold with planning permission already secured.
“Businesses are always looking at ways to streamline their functions so they can become more effective,” Cameron said. “I would argue it’s an imperative – a moral imperative – for government to do the same. When money is tight, it’s simply unforgiveable to waste taxpayers’ money.”