CFOA responds to Home Office publishing fire equipment costs

Following the Home Office publishing the costs of fire service equipment across the country, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) has said work is already underway to ensure communities get the best value for money from the fire service.

Today (August 24th), the Home Office published data – part of the transparency agenda – to make the fire service more accountable to the public.

Ahead of the Fire Reform programme which was announced in May this year, CFOA had already set up a number of projects to look at procurement of goods to ensure best value for money and quality.

This procurement exercise was the first national overview of what each Fire and Rescue Authority pays for 25 common items of uniform and equipment. The results showed differing costs for what services are paying for equipment.

Equipment included:  helmets; hoses; tunics; clothing including shirts and trousers; breathing apparatus and ICT equipment. The full list can be found on the Home Office website.

Paul Hancock, President of the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA), commented on the Home Office figures:

“We have been working closely with fire and rescue services and the Home Office to provide the government with transparent figures on procurement across the sector.

“We recognise there are differences in costs of equipment across the sector and work is underway to address this.  We have established a Strategic Commercial Committee with the Home Office with the objective of transforming the fire commercial landscape as a whole.”

“We have already identified categories of high expenditure which offer the greatest opportunities for savings from collaboration. These include: vehicle maintenance, operational equipment, ICT, clothing and training.

“We are very supportive of this piece of work by the Home Office and will continue to work closely with them to ensure we provide the best service to the public, while demonstrating best value for money.”

  • Home Office published data as part of transparency agenda to make the fire service more accountable to the public
  • According to the Home Office data, it shows there is scope for Fire and Rescue Authorities to make further savings in procuring equipment, in order to deliver value for money
  • This is the first step in the Government’s programme of reform for the sector focusing on diversity, efficiency and transparency. The data will enable authorities, and the public, to compare how much they spend on these essential items to ensure they are getting the best value for money
  • CFOA is also forming a new Strategic Commercial Committee, led by Ann Millington, Kent FRS’s Chief Executive, with the objective of transforming the fire commercial landscape as a whole
  • The published data can be found on gov.uk
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