08 August 2002 | Robin Parker
Small local authorities struggling to get purchasing in order are to be supported by a new central procurement forum.
The forum, which will meet after the parliamentary summer recess, has been set up by the Local Government Association and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
It aims to help small councils build procurement capacity, to assess how to set up regional centres of excellence for purchasing and to develop procurement training.
It will include representatives of all government departments with an interest in procurement, advisory bodies and institutions including CIPS.
The move is a key part of the LGA and ODPM's report, Towards a National Procurement Strategy, published in response to Sir Ian Byatt's review of local authority purchasing last year.
The report approves all 39 of Byatt's recommendations. It aims to help authorities produce procurement strategies.
• The London Borough of Hackney has created 12 procurement posts, including assistant director of procurement, as part of a shake-up.
The positions, advertised in this issue of SM, include procurement managers to control the purchasing operation in five departments.
The authority aims to deliver a central corporate strategy and training after the government ordered it to improve operations.