Waste: The full scale of govt inefficency revealed

By Ian Dunt

The government has consistently failed to act efficiently in the way it buys services and products, an official review has found.

Sir Philip Green’s review into government efficiency found it regularly failed to make the most of its scale, buying power and credit rating.

Sir Philip, who was appointed to conduct the review by David Cameron in August, said: “There is no reason why government should not be as efficient as any good business.

“Any large organisation would want to use its credit rating and scale to buy efficiently. The conclusion of this review is clear – credit rating and scale in virtually every department has not been used to make government spending efficient.”

Sir Philip’s said his team had uncovered that most of the data relating to where and how government spends its money was of poor quality data.

In addition, a lack of a centralised approach to buying goods and services allowed departments to pay hugely different prices for the same items, the report found.

“The scale of the waste uncovered by Sir Philip and his team is staggering,” said Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office.

“Every pound that we can take out of the cost of government is a pound we can protect on the front line. Our over-riding aim is to protect the quality of front line services and to protect the jobs of dedicated public sector workers.”