Dave Promises See-Through Government Contracts

On Wednesday David Cameron gave a speech to a TED audience described by host Matthew Freud as “movers and shakers”. That is Mathew Freud the lobbyist and son-in-law of Rupert Murdoch. Dave made a new pledge to publish not just details of spending over £25,000 but details of all government contracts worth over £25,000 for goods and services in full, including all performance indicators, break clauses and penalty measures. This will enable voters and taxpayers to “Google their government”, searching out wasteful spending and poorly negotiated contracts, opening up government procurement system to small businesses.

That is a non-trivial change in policy and will have far reaching ramifications, not least of which will be increased competition and downward pressure on public spending. Ending “commercial confidentiality” and publishing all government contracts  was a proposal floated last September in an article (“A See-Through Government) in the journal of the Reform think-tank and at their New Government Agenda conference last November.  Guido was wearing his wonk hat…


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