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Treasury puts out feelers for ideas to cut government costs

Treasury puts out feelers for good ideas to cut government costs

By Paul McBeth

Jan. 12 (BusinessDesk) – The Treasury’s Cross Agency Programme Management Office is asking for good ideas from the private sector to cut the government’s costs and lift the public service’s effectiveness.

The government department is “testing the market for innovative ideas” in a bid to make cash savings and improve the public sector’s efficiency by improving collaboration across different agencies, according to a tender document. The registration of interest (ROI) is seeking ideas to “improve the way government works” without asking for anything in specific.

“Submissions should indicate the agencies that would most benefit from adoption of the idea or would be natural leads to management implementation,” the document said. “The primary purpose of this ROI is to seek general information that will assist the Treasury in identifying ideas with potential for government to improve efficiency and effectiveness through cross-agency or all-of-government initiatives.”

The tender is part of the government’s crackdown on spending under the National-led administration, with Finance Minister Bill English completely rethinking the size and scope of the public services. Last year’s Budget allocated $3 million to brainstorm ways to meet the government’s ‘Better Services for Less’ agenda.

Back-office functions, such as administration and IT, have been targeted for the biggest cuts with increased all-of-government procurement process set up, and Treasury has flagged big savings could be made by amalgamating those back-room services.

The tender will assess ideas on whether they address an obvious existing problem, create scalable cross-agency solutions, benefit multiple agencies, show a strong return on investment, indicate improved services, and complements or coordinates with existing government projects.

The Treasury won’t consider information and communication technology unless it enables a broader idea.

Shortlisted ideas may be invited to participate in a closed tender process, though any unique ideas may see the Treasury negotiate directly for work to develop into a business case. Other ideas may be kept for future consideration, or may be incorporated into existing work.

The ROI is open until Feb. 8.


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