06 August 2007 | Paul Snell
A guide to improving council contract management has been published by the London Centre of Excellence (LCE).
The You and Your Contractor handbook, drawn up by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, aims to help local authorities get the best value from their deals. Councils spend more than £40 billion a year with 200,000 suppliers.
The guide provides advice on the whole contracting process, including how to measure the performance of contracts, managing relationships with suppliers and what to do when contracts change.
The LCE said the guidance was necessary after a review of 16 councils' contract management discovered ineffective relationships and contracts that had not delivered on aims.
Terry Brewer, chief executive at FireBuy, the fire service's purchasing group, said: "The 'let and forget' culture in some authorities must not go unchallenged. All too often, an authority will commit a great deal of effort into procurement with good intentions only to waste it over the life of the contract. This guide will encourage authorities to pay more attention to this sometimes neglected area."