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Government 'too close to contractors'

29 April 2009
A new report estimates that the government could save up to £300 million if it managed its contractors more effectively.

Findings from a study by the Public Accounts Committee revealed that during 2007-08 government spent £12 billion on contract work in areas such as facilities management and IT.

The research showed that in many cases central government did not do enough to monitor the value for money offered by contract workers.

Additionally, 38 per cent of workers were not given financial penalties after supposedly under performing.

Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the committee, said: "Central government organisations do not routinely check the value for money of their service contracts. As the pressures on public finances increase to ever higher levels, it cannot be countenanced that opportunities for saving money are being missed in this way."

He added that officials are more interested in the letting contracts rather than managing them.

The survey also revealed that less than half of the organisations questioned had one individual responsible for overall management of a contract.


By James Roberts

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