The Government Procurement Card: Cabinet Office
HC 1828, Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Session 2010-12
- National Audit Office (NAO)
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'The Government Procurement Card: Cabinet Office (HC 1828)' examines the central Government's use of Government Procurement Cards to pay for goods and services, and concludes that when used appropriately it can be cost-effective.
However, while controls in five departments examined by the NAO were operating as intended, there is no up to date value-for-money case quantifying the benefits of the cards.
Central Government spent £322 million using Government Procurement Cards in 2010-11, and £149 million in the first half of 2011-12. There were 1.75 million transactions in 2010-11, and 818,781 transactions in the first half of 2011-12. The majority of transactions were low-value purchases, with an average value of £184 in 2010-11.
Use of the cards varies between departments, both in the amount spent and in the type of goods and services purchased. Some departments have inadequate management information and cannot monitor the use of the Government Procurement Card effectively. Central data is incomplete and inconsistent and does not provide an accurate picture of spending across Government.
There has been a lack of central Government oversight of card use, which has lead to increased risks to value for money. But the new central policy, which defines minimum standards across Government, is an important move towards strengthening controls and ensuring greater consistency.
While departments acknowledge the risks and potential advantages of the card, there is no up-to-date value for money case to substantiate this. Work by the NAO has suggested that the cost of more traditional procurement methods may have fallen; however, using the cards could still provide a potential saving of around 35%, or £5 per transaction.
|Format||Paperback||Published||20 Mar 2012|
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