The importance of effective procurement, underpinned by commissioning, has never been greater for local government. The demand for public services is increasing, while resources are drastically reducing. The pressure to find greater efficiencies and improve productivity is driving councils to look for different ways to deliver better outcomes for local people.
The LGA launched new National Procurement Strategy in February 2018. It’s not about compliance or tactical issues, its streamlined structure reflects learning from the 2014 strategy and the diagnostic exercise, focusing on three key themes which, consultation has shown, reflects local government’s priorities for the next four years:
- showing leadership
- behaving commercially
- achieving community benefits
In addition to the themes, the strategy identifies four ‘enablers’:
- developing talent
- exploiting digital technology
- enabling innovation
- embedding change.
These cross-cutting actions have been identified by councils as being necessary for successful delivery in the key areas. The idea is that each council chooses the level of maturity it aims for in each of the key areas. The choices will naturally reflect local priorities and the resources available to the council. It is recognised, of course, that district councils may have different objectives to larger councils.
It is envisaged that groups of councils may want to develop their own regional procurement strategies based on this model which reflect their own local and regional priorities.