back to article Buying gov.UK kit via price-comparison digital portal could 'save £10bn'

The government could save up to £10bn per year if it were to create an "Amazon-like" procurement portal for all its purchases, similar to the underused G-Cloud, according to a think tank report. Amazon box tipped over, propped against doorframe.Photo by Jeramey Lende via Shutterstock Er, ID Smith? Your server arrived! Upside …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I wish you can buy government services the same way

    Well... I wish one could buy government services the same way.

    Oh, I get it, it is the pleb scum which cannot. The BIG suppliers can. How about shopping around tax regime in Luxembourg, office in the Netherlands and a back-office in Romania. Spiffing idea...

    1. zaax

      Re: Well, I wish you can buy government services the same way

      You can talktalk and BT have their back office in india and you can not understand a word they are saying

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I like this idea, will this portal have a backhander option? Don't want to upset the status quo.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    It sounds good in principle. Until some department goes for the cheapest option and then finds they bought a back-to-base 10 day turnaround repair option when (not if) some kit breaks.

    What is available in the marketplace for Joe Public to buy isn't always what's best for commercial use. Just look at the shitty bendy tinfoil case your local PC dealer will use unless you specify something more expensive.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Until some department goes for the cheapest option"

      If they "find" that they bought that kind of support then the people responsible need to be fired.

      Support (and the duration of that contract) is part of the purchase contract and you need to make sure you're getting what you think you're getting.

      I deal with this a lot when someone undershoots my internal costings for kit with "but I can buy it from XYZ for £ABC" - my standard response is "go back and price it with 3/5 year support, next day onsite - Oh and this quote doesn't have the same amount of memory as I specified. Make sure you match it"

      At this point they discover that the cheap option just doubled in price and I already have a quote from that supplier.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        If they "find" that they bought that kind of support then the people responsible need to be fired.

        <snipetty snip snip>

        At this point they discover that the cheap option just doubled in price and I already have a quote from that supplier.

        I'm with you all the way here. But we are talking about government departments and the civil service here in a toxic cost cutting environment where savings on the capital cost budgets are headlined even while those savings are more than eaten up (and often hidden in other budgets) by the consequences of those savings.

        I would not be at all surprised for some some Govt department to trumpet a 50% IT budget saving on desktops and carefully not mention that the Estates Management budget just took a huge hit to buy in an on-site maintenance contract.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or just Brexit!

    The EU imposed OJEU process escalates public-sector procurement costs many times over.

    Plus the cost of bidding is so onerous it encourages suppliers to collude on bids on a 'buggins turn' basis for winning and then making out like gang-busters on fees for contract 'changes'

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Or just Brexit!

      You have to be spending five million euro for OJEU to kick in, I'd hope most public sector spending is below that threshold.

      1. BearishTendencies

        Re: Or just Brexit!

        Not for IT. It's just over £100k over the course of the contract

  5. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    I admit it.

    I really would like to get on that gravy train but everytime I try the paperwork puts me off.

    Maybe I should just stick to developing and leave that stuff to the beancounters?

    1. Aitor 1

      Re: I admit it.

      There are beancounters that will help you.. for a price.

      Anyway, it is a bad idea for small shops.. don't deal with the gov.

  6. Graham Marsden
    Devil

    "Amazon-like" procurement

    That's one where you have a "oppressive and callous attitude to staff" is it...?

  7. Andy Davies

    in 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions cut its web-hosting costs by 90 per cent

    in 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions cut its usable web-site by 90 per cent

    ... fixed!

  8. PaulAb

    Oh,... they're serious

    It will cost 11bn a year to administer... where's ATOS

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