UK Government procurement reform is being “stifled by departments” being tardy in moving to new central contracts based on large-scale aggregation of demand. Because of a lack of enforcement of the use of centralized purchasing of goods and services maximum savings are not being achieved.
No doubt a disbelieving nation will swoon in horror at this dispatch from no man’s land, brought to us by the UK’s National Audit Office in a new report.
The conclusions of the report beg a sackful of questions, the most pressing being whether centralized purchasing and contracting
actually represents best procurement
practice in government. Also, is the large scale aggregation of demand really compatible with one of the strategic targets of the reform programme - ensuring that SMEs receive around 25% of government business, albeit that target is somewhat cynically wrapped around with the proviso that it includes the use of SMEs as subcontractors.