Magazine article Public Finance

Prison Service Hopes to Provide Support Services to Others

Magazine article Public Finance

Prison Service Hopes to Provide Support Services to Others

Article excerpt

The head of the Prison Services shared services team has indicated that Whitehall departments could soon outsource responsibility for back-office functions to his unit

Steve Hodgson told Public Finance that there had been improvements in the organisations procurement practices since a critical National Audit Office report in 2003. These had put him in a position to look for central government partners seeking to make efficiency savings by pooling resources.

'It would take some organising, but I think the Prison Service could soon go beyond improvements in its own human resources, finance and procurement functions and move into support sendees for other public bodies. We could, I firmly believe, soon provide services for central government departments,' Hodgson told PF.

Such a move would reflect a swift improvement in the service's procurement performance. The Office of Government Commerce, a Treasury offshoot, has encouraged public bodies to create large procurement centres to institutionalise a 'critical mass' of savings. …

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