Government procurement department marks 10th anniversary having saved taxpayers £3.8 billion last year alone

Over £3.8 billion of taxpayer money has been saved by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) in the last year alone, as the agency celebrates its 10th anniversary this year

  • Commercial benefits increased from £606 million a year in 2017/18* to £3.8 billion a year in 2022/23.
  • Choice of approved suppliers on Crown Commercial Service commercial agreements has risen significantly from 1,700 to more than 10,000, of which 7,500 are SMEs (a growth of 88% compared to 2014).
  • Now approximately 120 currently live agreements, used by over 21,000 customers.

Over £3.8 billion of taxpayer money has been saved by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) in the last year alone, as the agency celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

CCS centralises government procurement, allowing thousands of public sector organisations to procure services quicker and easier, whilst saving taxpayers substantial sums of money each year. 

Over 21,000 public sector organisations are now supported through the central system, including schools, hospitals and prisons saving them money on purchases from food to IT and allowing them to invest in the vital public services each of us use every day. 

Over the last 10 years, 10,000 suppliers have been brought onto agreements, with over 7,500 of them being SMEs. Supporting SMEs to win contracts with the public sector, and gain a bigger slice of the £300 billion a year public procurement pie.

Alex Burghart, Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office, said:

"Over the past ten years, Crown Commercial Service has brought substantial benefits to its customers across the public sector. 

"Through its offer of a wide range of choices and working to bring better value across their commercial activity, CCS has already helped customers to achieve billions of pounds of savings. 

"I congratulate the CCS on all that it has achieved in its first decade, and look forward to seeing its continued success and growth."

Simon Tse, CEO of CCS, said: 

"CCS’s 10-year anniversary is an exciting milestone, not only because we have so much to look back on and be proud of, but also because it marks the start of our next chapter. 

"I would like to say a special thank you to our fantastic team (past and present) for all of their hard work and dedication – and to the many amazing customers and suppliers we have had the pleasure of working alongside.

"We are still on a journey of changing and evolving as an organisation to ensure that we can achieve everything we have set out to achieve in our ambitious strategy."

CCS, an executive agency of the Cabinet Office, was established to replace the Government Procurement Service, with the aim of centralising central government procurement spend and helping the public sector to better extract value from its commercial and procurement activity. As a Trading Fund, predecessor organisations to CCS began in 1991.

It provides commercial agreements which give all public sector bodies a choice of vetted suppliers who offer the best value, leveraging the scale of public sector demand. By using these agreements to source everything from locum doctors and laptops to police cars and electricity, public sector customers can achieve commercial benefits such as reduced costs compared to market prices and better value in contract terms and conditions.

CCS also has responsibility for building commercial skills and capability across government and the public sector. For example, in 2022, it announced a commitment to invest £12 million in the NHS to enable a common procurement platform, Atamis, across the health service. 

Within the first year of the programme significant benefits and efficiencies have already been realised, with further still expected as the platform is more widely rolled out. 

This includes the North West London Procurement Services, which provides a single shared service for 9 NHS partner organisations. The switch to the Atamis system has helped them to identify £34 million of potential savings, allowing them to reinvest into patient care.

*The methodology for calculating commercial benefits has evolved since the formation of CCS. The current methodology was established in FY 2017/18 and provides a like-for-like comparison to the present day.

From: Cabinet Office, Crown Commercial Service, and Alex Burghart MP