Move is part of efficiency drive of new coalition government

The Government has confirmed that its procurement arm, the Office of Government Commerce, will be subsumed by the Cabinet Office as part of its ongoing efficiency drive.

The move will include the transfer of its subsidiary Buying Solutions agency, which controls a number of major public sector frameworks. It is not currently clear whether frameworks will be dramatically affected, however a government source said the move would herald changes to the way consultants to government are managed by the government.

The agencies will be merged with the Efficiency and Reform Group, a body set up last month to drive through the £6.2bn of spending cuts already announced by government.

The government also announced the appointment to the Efficiency Reform Board of former government efficiency adviser Sir Peter Gershon, now chairman of Tate & Lyle; Lucy Neville-Rolfe, executive director, Tesco PLC; and Dr Martin Read, non-executive director of Invensys, Aegis and Lloyd’s of London.

Francis Maude, cabinet office minister, said the move will bring together in one place all the cross-government operational functions, including procurement, project management, IT and Civil Service workforce and reform functions.

He said: “The changes I am announcing today will bring together our operational capability to form a single strong but streamlined group to drive efficiency across Government. By taking this really tough stance on inefficiency and waste, we can tackle Britain’s massive budget deficit and bring order back to the country’s finances, whilst protecting vital frontline services.

In June last year the OGC announced that twelve consultants had made it onto it’s Buying Solutions framework, seen as a vital win for businesses trying to win government work. The consultants affected are: Bovis Lend Lease, Capita Symonds, Drivers Jonas, EC Harris, Faithful + Gould, Gardiner & Theobald, Jacobs, Mace, Mott MacDonald, Pick Everard, Rider Levett Bucknall and Turner & Townsend.

According to its website, the six goals of the OGC are:

  • Delivering value for money from third party spend
  • Delivering projects to time, quality and cost, realising benefits
  • Getting the best from Government estate
  • Delivering sustainable procurement and sustainable operations on the Government estate
  • Supporting the delivery of Government policy goals
  • Improving central Government capability in procurement, project and programme management and estates