Treasury minister Stephen Timms tells fringe meeting that public sector clients have to be more efficient

Treasury minister Stephen Timms said yesterday that the government could make procurement spending savings of almost £9bn, £2bn more than previously estimated.

Speaking at a fringe meeting on public sector procurement, Timms, who is currently carrying out a comprehensive review of government spending, said there needed to be far greater efficiency by public clients in all sectors.

He highlighted the construction of Olympic projects as one potential target for the efficiency drive.

Timms also indicated that one area in which savings could be made would be by the introduction of standard PFI contracts across government departments.

Timms said the government expects to publish its comprehensive spending review next summer.

Meanwhile, energy minister Malcolm Wicks said that the government has set aside £50m for research into wave and tidal renewable energy sources. Wicks, speaking at a climate change seminar, said that the government was "looking seriously" at development of the technologies.