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DfT savings hinge on better LA procurement

LOCAL AUTHORITIES must adopt Highways Agency procurement methods in a bid to cut £190M from the Department for Transport's (DfT) annual budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown said this week.

The move is part of a package of reforms announced on Monday following a review of public sector efficiency.

This was published with Brown's comprehensive spending review and sets out plans intended to slash £785M from the DfT's annual operating costs by 2007/08.

At least half the savings would be ploughed back into funding new schemes.

Many local authorities are already looking at using parts of the Highways Agency's procurement strategy, in particular the Capability Assessment Toolkit (CAT). This is used to draw up tender shortlists and assesses firms on their corporate culture.

Some authorities are now demanding Highways Agency CAT scores as part of their own tender processes. But the Agency has expressed concern that these could be taken out of context.

The Agency will now tackle local authority approaches to standardising contracts and specifications, joint programming, packaging of work and performance measurement.

Other efficiency savings include axing 700 civil service posts within the DfT and relocating 60 jobs out of London and the south east by 2007-08.

INFOPLUS Releasing resources to the front line can be accessed via www.

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