24 August 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
The London Centre of Excellence is launching a toolkit to help local authority buyers to purchase management consultancy services.
The move follows work by the centre, jointly led by the City of London and London Borough of Hounslow, to improve the procurement of consultancy and professional services and reduce spend by 10 per cent.
The centre's 2004 business plan estimated that boroughs in the capital spend £170 million a year on consultancy services.
Questions asked in the kit prompt buyers to first consider whether employing consultants is appropriate, and if so, what things should be reviewed.
The toolkit release is the first step of a project to cut costs. The project team, which is headed by Andrew Tregidgo at the City of London, is also creating a website which will help authorities to benchmark suppliers, share information and access market intelligence.
Some specialist training will be made available to those procuring consultancy services and a feasibility study will begin shortly to explore the viability of pan-London framework agreements for consultancy services.
The kit will be available from 1 September. If the project proves successful in London, it could be rolled out across the country.
Find information on the project at www.lcpe.gov.uk