Poor IT suppliers to face ban from contracts?

By Tony Collins

The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude is due to meet representatives of suppliers today, including  Accenture BT,Capgemini, Capita, HP, IBM, Interserve, Logica, Serco, and Steria.

They will be warned that suppliers with poor performance may find it more difficult to secure new work with the Government. The Cabinet Office says that formal information on a supplier’s performance will be available and will be taken into consideration at the start of and during the procurement process (pre-contract).

Maude will tell them that the Government is strengthening its supplier management by monitoring suppliers’ performance for the Crown as a whole.

“I want Whitehall procurement to become as sharp as the best businesses”, says Maude. “Today I will tell companies that we won’t tolerate poor performance and that to work with us you will have to offer the best value for money.”

The suppliers at today’s meeting represent around £15bn worth of central government contract spend.

The representatives will also be:

– asked their reactions on the government’s approach to business over the past two years

– briefed on the expanded Cabinet Office team of negotiators (Crown Representatives) from the private and public sectors. Maude says these negotiators aim to maximise the Government’s bulk buying power to obtain strategic discounts for taxpayers and end the days of lengthy and inflexible contracts.

Spending controls made permanent

Maude is announcing today that cross-Whitehall spending controls will be a permanent way of life. The Government introduced in 2010 temporary controls on spending in areas such as ICT  and consultancy. It claims £3.75bn of cash savings in 2010/11, and efficiency savings for 2011/12, which it says are being audited.

The Cabinet Office says: “By creating an overall picture of where the money is going, the controls allow government to act strategically in a way it never could before. For example, strict controls on ICT expenditure do not just reduce costs but also reveal the software, hardware and services that departments are buying and whether there is a competitive mix of suppliers and software standards across government.”

Maude said: “Our cross-Whitehall controls on spending have made billions of cash savings for the taxpayer – something that has never been done before. That’s why I’m pleased to confirm that our controls will be a permanent feature, helping to change fundamentally the way government operates.”

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