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Office of Government Commerce to move to the Cabinet Office

The Office of Government Commerce will move to the Cabinet Office as part of the coalition government’s plan to tackle waste, the Prime Minister announced today.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said the move, which will include the public sector procurement agency Buying Solutions, will bring together all cross-governmental operational functions, including procurement, project management, IT and Civil Service workforce and reform functions.

He said: “We want a slim but strong centre that can drive down the cost of government, so protecting as best we can the crucial front line services on which our citizens depend.”

The move will form part of the Efficiency and Reform Group which, according to the Cabinet Office, will have a “strong mandate at the centre of government to ensure departments  work together to quickly tackle waste and improve accountability across all these areas.”

Mr Maude also announced the appointment of three senior business leaders to the Efficiency Board. They are chairman of Tate & Lyle Sir Peter Gershon, executive director of Tesco Lucy Neville-Rolfe and non-executive director of Invensys, Aegis and Lloyd’s of London Dr Martin Read.

Sir Peter Gershon, who will lead on looking at procurement issues, said: “Whilst tackling the budget deficit is a challenge, I am convinced that by bringing experts together and harnessing the talents of the public sector we can start to make improvements immediately. We will need to be creative and innovative in order to make a real difference and look at new ways of working.”