£4 billion UK Government spend to be managed by Research Councils

cheque_bookAround £4 billion of the UK Government’s spending on construction and facilities management projects is to be handled by The Research Council’s UK Shared Services Centre (RCUK SSC). The move has been agreed with the Government Procurement Service (GPS) as part of the coalition’s attempts to achieve cost savings in every part of the public sector. GPS projects that the move will save around 10 per cent of the budgeted spend by consolidating procurement procedures, although shared procurement services have sometimes failed to deliver anticipated saving in the past.

The two bodies are also working together to provide other support to Government departments, especially with regard to the procurement of complex projects. GPS expects to make annual savings of 10 per cent through this use of category management and consolidation of spend. The move was originally proposed by the Public Expenditure Efficiency and Reform Group as part of a review into procurement practices in 2011 with the objective of standardising and streamlining procurement of shared goods and services across departments, developing new standards of excellence and introducing more transparency to procurement processes.