Economy and Infrastructure

19.04.18

Get what you pay for, and only pay for what you get

Source: PSE April/May 2018

Matthew Sparkes, deputy director for financial services at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), on the public sector benefits of the brand-new Spend Analysis and Recovery Services framework.

Every year, government bodies including central departments, local authorities, universities, schools, NHS trusts and arm’s-length bodies are incorrectly charged for the goods and services they procure.

In the private sector, spend recovery services are a commonly-accessed route to recovering these costs, ensuring that organisations only pay for the goods and services they actually receive. The public sector has been slower to respond.

CCS – the UK’s largest public procurement body, responsible for shaping and delivering government procurement policy – estimates that £220m in overcharges and incorrect payments could be recovered over the next four years. To facilitate the identification and recovery of these valuable funds, CCS has created the Spend Analysis and Recovery Services framework.

There are 19 suppliers appointed to the framework, including companies with specialist expertise in key areas like utilities, telecoms and VAT. They will work in partnership with CCS and public sector organisations on a contingent ‘no win, no fee’ basis to analyse financial transactions and commercial agreements – identifying overpayments, errors or financial benefits which have not been previously realised.

Suppliers on the agreement can also support public bodies with reviews of contract compliance, looking at specific areas of their procurement activity. Contracts are analysed to make sure an organisation is only paying what it should be. If an organisation is not fully benefitting from existing deals and services, the suppliers will identify it so it can be rectified.

These reviews can analyse and recover errors or overcharges up to six years after the error or overpayment has occurred.

There are no upfront costs, and the process requires minimal internal resources from customers – suppliers do all the heavy lifting. Customers can also gain access to CCS’s commercial expertise, and support to access the breadth of CCS’s wide range of commercial solutions for financial services.

The use of spend recovery services is commonplace in the private sector, not just to identify and recover valuable funds, but also to understand where to make process improvements that ensure errors won’t happen again.

By combining our own CCS category expertise with our suppliers’ commercial expertise, we can ensure that the public sector pays only for the goods and services it actually receives.

How to use the agreement

There are three ways to begin the process of appointing a supplier through Spend Analysis and Recovery Services:

  • Further competition: Any organisation with significant spend can drive down suppliers’ percentage fee by holding a further competition – this is when an organisation asks suppliers to bid against each other for business. This can provide real value for your organisation;
  • Direct award: If an organisation has found a supplier that offers the services it needed, and is happy with the percentage fee they are offering, then direct award offers a fast, simple solution;
  • Aggregation: If a department is part of a wider organisation, it can be financially beneficial to organise an aggregation. This is when you combine your requirements, allowing you all to get the best deal from bulk ordering.

The agreement is broken down into seven lots covering the largest areas of government procurement spend, including statement transaction review; end-to-end review; and contract compliance relating to telecoms/mobiles, contingent labour/agency staff, VAT, and property/rental review.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION
W: www.ccsheretohelp.uk

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of ... more >
Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

16/10/2018Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

A former employee of Westminster City Council has been found guilty of stealing nearly £1m from the council pension fund. Ian Woodall,... more >
Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

15/10/2018Protesters gather as councillors meet to discuss mass children’s centre closures

Demonstrators and parents have gathered outside County Hall in Norwich to protest against planned mass children’s centre closures as Norfol... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

16/10/2018Councils found more than £300m in fraud during 2017-18

UK councils detected or prevented a total of £302m in fraud in 2017-18, according to CIPFA. The organisation found that the number of fraud cases had increased compared to last year fr... more >
Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

16/10/2018Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

A former employee of Westminster City Council has been found guilty of stealing nearly £1m from the council pension fund. Ian Woodall, the former interim head of pensions and investmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

What cities should become

15/10/2018What cities should become

Tom Leaver, project manager at Future Cities Catapult, examines the rationale behind the creation of the City Data Sharing Toolkit, and explores how this is driving a seismic shift in how cities evolve into our data-rich future. We’re used to big-screen sci-fi future cities being dystopian monoliths to everything wrong with the worl... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Inspiring leadership in social value

15/10/2018Inspiring leadership in social value

We have learned a lot since the last National Social Value Conference, with many organisations both in the public and private sectors now embeddi... more >
Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

15/10/2018Is fair funding possible, or pie in the sky?

David Phillips, associate director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, discusses the current health of local government finance, and how a bette... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
The Convention of the North

15/10/2018The Convention of the North

Steve Rotheram, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, discusses the findings of the very first Convention of the North, which was held in Newcastle... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News