Feeds

Outsource back office, Gershon tells Tories

Pass that buck

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Former head of the Office of Government Commerce Sir Peter Gershon has advised the Conservatives to outsource all back office processing functions within 18 months of being elected.

Gershon, who has joined the Conservatives' public sector productivity panel, said that "a new government should focus on better management, not more IT".

"Six years ago, my own efficiency review highlighted the scale of the government's back office and the major opportunities for savings without harming frontline public services," said Gershon in a statement published on 29 March 2010 alongside Conservative plans to cut the cost of government.

He said that in 2009, the government's latest efficiency review had identified £18bn of spending on the back office and showed case studies where the private sector saved 35 per cent to 70 per cent, adding: "The pace of improvement in the public sector back office has been too slow in the last six years and there has been too much resistance to involving the private sector.

"A new government faces a massive and complex agenda of driving savings to close the deficit. It ought to simplify this agenda by deciding that all back office transactional functions will be outsourced within 18 months, unless they can already demonstrate best private sector practice."

In his statement Gershon also said the public sector should "sweat the assets it already has," rather than continue with unjustified projects. "Investment in major new IT projects can be considered again when the benefits of better management have been exhausted," he said.

His comments were published as shadow chancellor George Osborne outlined plans for total savings of £12bn from government spending in the 2010-11 tax year, allowing him to neutralise a planned rise in national insurance contributions for anyone earning less than £35,000.

On advice from Gershon and fellow adviser Dr Martin Read, the Tories have outlined five key areas for cost savings, which includes the halting of IT projects and cancelling any underperforming contracts even if they are underway. Gershon also said that, if elected, the party should negotiate significant reductions in costs from suppliers, and should minimise the use of advertising, lawyers, external contractors and consultants.

This article was originally published at Kable.

Kable's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
UK.gov chucks £28m at F1 tech for buses and diggers plan
Well, not really F1 but who's heard of LMP and VLN*?
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.