Headlines: August 2nd, 1999

The new Office of Government Commerce (OCG) set up within the Treasury will lead the effort in ensuring that all departments get best value from public money.

The OCG will be created by bringing together a number of bodies presently in the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, including the Buying Agency, CCTA, PACE and the Treasury Procurement Group and the continuing PFI Taskforce.

The rationale for setting up OGC is to focus in one body responsibility for achieving value for money in Civil Government’s relations with its suppliers, with expertise in buying government assets and services brought together.

The establishment of OGC is seen as an important means to deliver the demands of Modernising Government, when one of the challenges facing local government – the notion of achieving ‘best value’ for public money – was extended to national departments.

Among OCG’s functions will be to manage suppliers strategically, help departments manage major projects, make the acquisition of goods and services more professional, and lead the Government’s use of electronic commerce for procurement.

Details are available at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/docs/1999/proclaunch.html.