11 September 2015 | Jamie Harris
Prime Minister David Cameron is to set out plans for a 'smarter state', which provides better value for the taxpayer.
In a keynote speech, to be delivered today, ahead of the comprehensive spending review, Mr Cameron will call for the government to broaden opportunities, reform markets by breaking 'monopolies', and attempt to make government more efficient.
"The best businesses would never shy away from allowing their customers to shape the way they improve their services. If we are bold enough, government can go one better by actually putting many of those services in the hands of local people."
The Prime Minister has also confirmed that 38 local areas across England have proposed devolution deals, which could see 'major devolution of spending and powers over transport, education and health'.
Mr Cameron has also confirmed that the government will continue to streamline more services, introducing legislation to enable the police, fire and ambulance services to combine back office functions, IT and procurement services.
The speech also calls for more smaller organisations to become involved in public sector services. The government stressed earlier this year that it plans to buys from smaller organisations 'every time they are the best value for money'.
"Opening up contracts to small businesses spreads entrepreneurship and drives innovation."
Matt Hancock, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, has targeted a third of government spending to be with small businesses by 2020.
In 2013/2014, 26 per cent of central government spend (£11.4 billion) was with SME organisations. Meeting the 33 per cent target would mean an additional £3 billion annually spent directly with small and median-sized businesses.
The government's contract finder, a website which aims to help smaller organisations bid for future contracts, was launched in February. It covers current and future public sector contracts with a value of more than £10,000 in central government, and £25,000 in the wider public sector.
However in July, Wendy Sutherland, director of consultancy Ramsay Todd Ltd and deputy chair of the BIFM's procurement special interest group, told FM World that the Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) Total Facilities Management agreement for procuring services will result in smaller suppliers finding it ‘challenging' to actively vie for government contracts.
Sutherland said: "The ability for SMEs to actively participate in this environment is challenging despite the best intentions of Central Government, as can be seen when reading the list of the successful suppliers. We can only hope that there will be opportunities for elements of the service to be sub contracted to smaller organisations throughout the lifetime of this framework agreement."
But Sutherland said the agreement was otherwise "a logical and practical solution for the outsourcing of FM services".
CCS published a full list of suppliers, such as ISS, Amey and Interserve, which are to deliver facilities services under a series of 'lots'.