The report also found 37% of all government contracts for professional services were awarded to only 25 suppliers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers tops the government’s bill, winning contracts worth Pounds 69.8m during 1999-2000, including a Pounds 7m Ministry of Defence deal to provide private finance initiative advice on the redevelopment of its main building.The MoD was the biggest spender on professional services, paying out a total of Pounds 141m last year.
The NAO report, Purchasing Professional Services, is critical of the tendering processes used by some central government departments. According to the NAO, 32% of contracts were awarded through either single or informal tenders.
Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said Pounds 45m could be saved for the public purse through better negotiated deals, with a further £12m savings gained from more robust tendering.
‘A significant amount of taxpayers’ money is spent on these services each year. We have found excellent examples of innovative practice, but much more could be done to improve government purchasing,’ he said.
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