In May of this year, the National Audit Office produced a dry, balanced report on collaborative procurement across the public sector. In short, it called for “public bodies to work together much more effectively than they currently do to maximise savings from procurement activities”.
It said things were fragmented, burdened by administration and that the public sector was not maximising its purchasing power.
It was lost among the post-election, Coalition excitement.
Today, the week after the party conference season, and the week before the Spending Review, Sir Philip Green, straight-talking boss of TopShop, issues his report on the same subject. “All awful,” is his initial (leaked) response, “truly shocking”.
I expect it will make far bigger headlines, help underline the Government’s message that the last administration was wasteful – and soften us up for next week’s Big Cuts news. As with Jamie Oliver and school food, media-wise, Green won’t be telling us stuff we don’t already know but he’ll say it in language that is far more impactful than the NAO.