Reform of local government procurement will bring significant savings

A centralised procurement process for local government agencies will be a key cost saving measure to achieve public service reform, according to Fine Gael TD for Dublin North Alan Farrell. As chairperson of the Fine Gael Internal Committee for Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Farrell said the changes being introduced are essential if we are serious about saving money and delivering services more efficiently.

“Minister of State, Brian Hayes TD, this week announced his plan, in line with the Programme for Government, for shared services across the public sector to reduce costs. We can make significant savings in how we run our services on a daily basis by examining all areas of expenditure in local government agencies. The cost of procurement for each agency can be significantly reduced by centralising the process through the Office of Public Works.

“I have no doubt that each agency endeavours to curtail spending in their individual procurement budgets. However, as it stands, each Government agency sources its own services and supplies. This is not cost efficient for the taxpayer. By sharing procurement and using centralised or regional suppliers, we can make significant savings.

“During the election Fine Gael promised smaller, better government and if we are to successfully reduce the public service bill we must find savings at every level and eliminate waste. There is no room for unnecessary spending at any level in the public service.

“We must explore every possible avenue of reforming how business is conducted. Like any other organisation in this economic climate, government services must opt for the most cost efficient method of funding day to day costs.

“This measure should be welcomed by all members of the public service if we are to ensure that the Croke Park Agreement is given its optimum chance of success.”