This is an important, MUST READ, story from the FT.
For a long time, the Cabinet Office has had responsibility for Government procurement, yet time and time again, the Government has been told that procurement practices are very weak compared to the Private Sector or indeed best practice in other countries.
Against this background, despite austerity, the Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, had to call in the top-end, very expensive, consulting firm McKinsey to tell him that centralized procurement is best practice.
Once again, we are seeing the Government defining policy on the hoof, without a clear analysis of strategy and risk.
Some obvious open questions that come to mind include, what about:
- Local authorities, the police, ambulance services and other public sector procurement?
- Standardization of business processes, systems and technology?
- Standardization of shared service centers?
- Outsourcing all non-policy activities, including off-shoring where no national security risks?