18 September 2003 | Robin Parker
Carmarthenshire County Council's procurement team is to double in size as the authority acts to address concerns that its purchasing is too fragmented.
Following a review of procurement by the Audit Commission's best value inspectors, the authority is seeking to gain more control of its £110 million annual procurement spend and to use more local suppliers.
The move is also in line with Sir Ian Byatt's recommendation in 2001 that local authorities invest in expanding their procurement functions.
It has created five new posts, two of which have been filled by current employees.
Kim Baker has been appointed a senior procurement officer for strategy and performance. She moves from the corporate property section of resources, where she was a senior finance officer.
Frances Rees has become performance and reporting officer. Previously, she was a development officer within the resources department.
The authority is recruiting externally for three positions - contracting and commissioning officer, senior procurement officer for policy and development, and a trainee procurement officer - which it expects to fill within the next month.
The Audit Commission said Camarthenshire's procurement had been too fragmented, but added the prospects for improvement were strong.
Meanwhile, after meetings with the county's schools, the authority is to set up a unit to advise and train educational establishments on procurement.