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MPs criticise government for prioritising cost over quality in awarding outstanding contracts

The government is prioritising cost over quality when outsourcing public sector contracts, leading to worse services, a committee of MPs says. The collapse of construction giant Carillion had exposed “fundamental flaws” in the outsourcing process, the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee said. When Carillion failed in January, it had 420 UK public sector […]

Price cutting in highly competitive supermarket sector hits growth at Sainsburys

Sainsbury’s like-for-like sales growth continued to slow in the first quarter after the supermarket group cut food prices to compete with rivals. The increase for the three months to June compares to 0.9% in the fourth quarter and 1.1% in the three months before. Chief executive Mike Coupe said that “the market remains competitive”. But […]

Poundworld founder claims rescue deal being put at risk by administrator

The founder of Poundworld has said that the discount retailer’s administrator is putting a rescue plan at risk by dragging its feet over striking a deal. Deloitte was appointed as the administrator of Poundworld in June after talks with a buyer failed. Chris Edwards says he made an offer four weeks ago, but has only […]

Regulator says water companies have damaged customer trust

High levels of payments to bosses and investors by water companies have damaged customer trust, the regulator Ofwat has said. It has published plans which aim to strengthen companies’ incentives to improve customer performance and cut rewards from financial engineering. It comes as the bosses of several water firms prepare to be quizzed by MPs. […]

Rail operator could lose its franchise over continued service chaos

Rail operator Govia Thameslink faces being stripped of its franchises unless performance on its services in the South East of England rapidly improves, the BBC understands. A source said the government could begin the process within weeks. Passengers on its Thameslink and Great Northern trains have endured more than a month of disruption following the introduction of […]

One in four estate agents in financial distress at market cools

More than 7,000 UK High Street estate agents are showing signs of financial distress as they face fewer sales and online competition, a study has found. The report – from accountancy firm Moore Stephens – suggests that some 27% of agents are struggling to survive. One of the main reasons is a long-term decline in […]