Friday 30th Oct 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

FCO Christmas tree cost 50 times as much as DfT’s

Some government departments are spending 50 times as much as others on Christmas trees, according to research by e-procurement provider Gatewit.
The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, with a request to obtain the cost of any Christmas trees that were bought in 2012, for display on department premises.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent 50 times as much on a Christmas tree as the Department for Transport, spending £750 compared to £15.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spent the most on Christmas trees in 2012, purchasing five for a total of £1,780.
But the study also showed that three quarters of government departments spent nothing, with staff members bringing in their own trees, or trees provided by facilities management companies.
Gatewit said this vast difference in spending on festive decorations highlights the need to standardise procurement within the public sector.
Chief executive officer Pedro Vaz Paulo said: “Regardless of the size of the trees and the extent to which they were decorated, there’s a clear lack of consistency when one government department is spending 50 times more than another.
“If they were to have used e-procurement, we would see fewer variations of this type, and a lower average cost.
“Procurement officers would have greater transparency over spending, ultimately reducing spend across government departments and offering better value to the taxpayer.”
E-procurement is due to become mandatory under EU law in 2016.

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