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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) “should urgently invest in its operational, technical and commercial skills,” a report by the National Audit Office has found.
The government will commit to buying British food from 2017 under new guidelines encouraging the whole public sector — including schools and hospitals — to do the same, it has been announced today.
Government spending on outsourcing contracts rose by 23% to £1.2bn between 2012 and 2013, bringing the two-year total to £2.3bn, while expenditure in most other sectors fell by between 1% and 20%, according to analysis of public sector transactions carried out by the Institute for Government (IfG).
The Committee for Standards in Public Life has called for new contractual and monitoring arrangements to ensure private providers meet the same ethical standards which apply to civil servants.
Efforts to centralise consultancy procurement are not working, according to the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), and may thwart “government’s stated aims of securing efficiency”.
The international trade treaties currently being negotiated between the USA and EU and around the Pacific area threaten the kind of bail-outs that have rescued Greece, Ireland, Portugal and other EU countries, according to Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.
Departments need more flexibility on pay so that civil service organisations don’t feel the need for “bureaucratic reorganisations” designed to escape pay controls and enable them to recruit skilled staff, the Public Accounts Committee has said.
The Home Office “poorly planned” and “badly managed” its commissioning of asylum-seekers’ housing, the Public Accounts Committee said last week, and the project “is unlikely to yield the savings intended.”
The Crown Commercial Service has started purchasing energy tariffs for all government departments, launching a project last week to invite bids for a 15-year deal from renewable energy generators.
The Ministry of Defence’s Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S) division was this month turned into an arm’s-length body and given an exemption from Treasury salary controls and civil service-wide promotion criteria.
Outsourcing giant G4S has been cleared to bid for government contracts after it was barred from doing so earlier this year following an over-charging scandal.
Government contracts should be audited by the National Audit Office (NAO) to improve transparency about public service outsourcing, business organisation the CBI has said.
Universal Credit has been stymied by confused accountability and a “very, very poor set of decisions,” Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge has told CSW.
Serious questions remain about accountability for Universal Credit in light of Robert Devereux and Iain Duncan Smith’s latest appearance before MPs, the Institute for Government has said.
Government does not know the impact of its schemes to provide SMEs with access to finance, nor how much of the money invested in the schemes has reached small companies, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published yesterday.
Government’s use of payment by results contracts will inhibit its ability to buy services from charities and social enterprises, the Institute for Government has warned.
The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is to expand from 600 staff to around 1,000 by 2016-17.
But if the Treasury gives way, civil servants could do the job.
One of the two remaining consortia bidding to run the Ministry of Defence agency Defence Equipment & Support has pulled out of the competition, leaving chief of defence materiel Bernard Gray’s plans for a ‘Government-Owned, Contractor-Operated’ organisation in disarray.
The government should send more civil servants to the European Commission (EC) as part of their regular career paths, chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said.
Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has intervened in a bid to end the political briefings against work and pensions permanent secretary Robert Devereux.
The civil service must “significantly” improve its ability to understand company accounts if it is to make effective use of open-book contracts, according to government chief operating officer Stephen Kelly and chief procurement officer Bill Crothers.
The civil service suffers from a shortage of delivery skills and a culture that venerates policymaking over organisational improvement, outgoing Home Office director-general Rob Whiteman has said in an interview with CSW.
Errors by the Ministry of Justice and by security firm G4S have resulted in a new prison suffering serious problems in its opening year, a report from the prison’s independent monitoring board (IMB) has revealed.