UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has announced plans to centralise the procurement of supplies such as stationery and computer supplies. He said that the changes would end disparities in the prices departments and agencies pay for everyday items.
Public bodies have been paying as little as £350 and as much as £2,000 for the same laptop, he said. Prices paid for identical printer cartridges varied from £85 to £240.
A report in the Financial Time says that central government will save more than £3bn a year on "common goods and services such as stationery, office services, consultancy and travel costs, by 2015".