The government has save £3.8 billion on procurement last year, according to cabinet office minister Francis Maude.
He said the savings had come from linking together departments to buy goods and services and enforcing sensible controls on recruitment and use of consultants.
It is part of a £10 billion saving in government spending – 25 per cent up on the target of £8bn.
Other savings included:
£1.1 billion by improving online services, and raising money through selling empty buildings and exiting expensive rentals in sought-after locations
£1.7 billion by reviewing and reshaping large scale projects (including construction) and stripping out inefficiencies
£3.4 billion by reducing the size of the Civil Service and reforming Civil Service pensions
The savings have been driven by the Efficiency and Reform Group, a joint Cabinet Office and Treasury initiative, which has been working with government departments to reduce spending.
Maude said: “In the first year of this government we saved £3.75 billion compared with the year before the last General Election. In 2011 to 2012 we managed £5.5 billion. The unprecedented £10 billion savings last year shows we have defied expectations and accelerated the pace of reform. There can be no going back to the old, wasteful ways of doing things which we saw in the past.
We know there’s a long way still to go to achieve our ambitious plans for savings over the next few years. Hard-working taxpayers rightly expect their money to be spent judiciously.”
The aim is to produce total cashable savings of £20bn by 2015.