Government departments still haven’t mastered procurement

Ben Southwood
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GOVERNMENT departments are still extremely inefficient in their procurement, even for very basic items, a TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) research note published today claims.

The worst department – ironically – was Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS), while the best performing according to the TPA’s analysis were the Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence.

BIS paid £12.43 per 2,500 sheet box of A4 paper, the taxpayer group discovered, while the Department of Health paid £8.93 for the same size box – some £3.50 less.

In fact, except for Health and the Department of Work and Pensions, all the departments paid over £11, with an average of £11.24 across all of the departments.

BIS also paid the most for its energy, £110 per megawatt hour, well above the £34 per megawatt hour that the Ministry of Defence forked out.

Other big departments also paid over the odds – with Education, Transport and the Home Office all paying more than £50 more than Defence.

The figures are for the fourth quarter of 2011, and compiled from official data summaries prepared by the respective departments.