New data on police procurement highlights the need for police forces to push opportunities to collaborate in order to deliver greater value for money for the taxpayer.
Since 2010/11 forces have saved in excess of £290m through better procurement and collaboration, but new information released shows that that there are still many areas where forces could work together to identify savings.
The release is part of the Government’s transparency agenda to make the police more accountable to the public, and provide information on the prices paid by police for 18 essential items including forensic, telephony and office supplies. Forces are also asked to report on the extent to which they have collaborated to purchase these items.
The data indicates that high levels of collaboration are generally associated with lower prices and that forces can, and should, use this information to help identify further saving opportunities.
Last year the police in England and Wales spent around £2.2bn on goods and services, and the Government is clear that increased transparency on the costs of essential items will help police chiefs consider opportunities for further efficiency savings and make the police more accountable to the taxpayer.
The Government will continue to support forces to drive down procurement expenditure and realise potential savings of up to £350 million in real terms by the end of this Parliament, by encouraging greater collaboration between forces and with other public and emergency services.
The Home Office has recently provided £2m in funding under the Police Transformation Fund to support collaborative procurement.
The release follows the publication in September 2015 of the prices paid by the police for items of vehicles, uniform and related equipment and will allow the public to further compare all 43 forces in England Wales. Some of the items in today’s release illustrate the complex and changing demand on police resources, for example for the analysis of mobile telephones.
The items included are: DNA test, toxicology test, mobile phone examination, forensic stain analysis, credit report, temporary staff – administrator, hire car one day hire, hire car 30-day hire, standard office white copier paper, telephone Interpretation – including call recording (Mon-Fri working hours), face to face interpreter (Mon-Fri working hours) – excluding mileage and expenses, standard office cleaning – excluding specialist cleaning (Force average), gas – Police HQ, laptop PC, desktop PC, monitor 19”, monitor 21”, telecom call charges – local peak (0800 to 1800).
Brandon Lewis, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said:
“This information is a key part of making our police forces more accountable to the public through greater transparency.
Thanks to this and last year’s releases, it is clear that savings are being made due to greater collaboration, but the police must go further still to deliver greater savings for the taxpayer.
It is absolutely essential that broad and deep collaboration within police procurement is the rule, not the exception. Police forces must continue to use their resources more efficiently by working together and PCCs must hold chief constables to account for this.”