Headlines: July 31st, 2000

A task force, which will include people with experience of procurement in both the public and private sectors, is to look at current practice and develop practical ways to improve procurement within local government and the best value framework. It is jointly sponsored by the Department for Environment Transport and Regions and the Local Government Association. The report is due in Spring 2001.The review will cover the procurement of goods, works and services. It will look at the role of modern procurement practice in delivering best value. It is expected to recommend practical measures which local authorities can take to secure real benefits to local people from efficient and effective procurement.

The starting point for the review will be Government’s objectives on electronic and green procurement. Much work already been done to improve procurement across the public sector will provide a framework. The Gershon review of civil procurement in central government, which found that fragmented procurment by different bodies failed to exert purchasing power, will give a steer to the work. It was this report which resulted in the Office for Government Commerce being created on 1 April 2000. Other documents which the team will consider include the second Bates review of PPP/PFI, the Construction Industry Taskforce report Rethinking Construction and reports by HM Treasury’s Public Services Productivity Panel.