The British government is to work with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply on a programme to enhance its purchasing capability.
UK Government Procurement and CIPS have signed a memorandum of understanding that covers:
* Lobbying and representation in support of the transformation of EU Procurement rules
* Collaborative work to optimise training and other procurement capability improvement programmes both within GPS, and where appropriate across Government
* Exploring ways to increase the percentage of civil service procurement staff that are professionally qualified
* Promoting Government Procurement initiatives, best practice tools and techniques to non-Government bodies, with any resultant income invested to improve the capability of UK civil service procurement staff
A report by retail magnate Sir Philip Green in 2010 highlighted the massive opportunities to make savings in the government procurement process. It famously highlighted the fact that different government departments were paying between £350 and £2,000 for the same laptop from the same supplier.
Following that, the government set out a plan for central procurement of common items to save more than £3 billion a year by 2015 – 25 per cent of annual spending on these items.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, John Collington, the government’s chief procurement officer and head of the government procurement profession said: “Continuous professional development and improvement in capability sits at the heart of the Procurement Reform Strategy. Given the size of the prize from better management of total procurement spend, in support of the Government’s deficit reduction and growth priorities, there is an opportunity to ensure the UK Civil Service procurement profession, through delivery, is valued and appreciated at the very highest levels of office, now and for the future.”