The former head of the Office of Government Commerce has told the Conservative Party to outsource all of its back-office functions if it wins the general election.
Sir Peter Gershon, who sits on the party's public sector productivity panel, said that the Tories should instigate the outsourcing within the first 18 months of government, and that the focus has to be on better management rather than IT, according to a report on news site Kable.
"Six years ago, my own efficiency review highlighted the scale of the government's back office and the major opportunities for savings without harming frontline public services," said Gershon.
The Labour government spent £18bn on back-office functions in 2009, but Gershon believes that the speed of development in this area is too slow.
"The pace of improvement in the public sector back office has been too slow in the last six years, and there has been too much resistance to involving the private sector," he said.
"A new government faces a massive and complex agenda of driving savings to close the deficit. It ought to simplify this agenda by deciding that all back-office transactional functions will be outsourced within 18 months, unless they can already demonstrate best private sector practice."
Gershon's comments were made as shadow chancellor George Osborne published his plans to save £12bn on government spending in the 2010-11 tax year.
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