07 June 2007 | Antony Barton
One of the leading figures in public sector procurement has stressed the need for collaboration between central and local government.
Sir Michael Lyons, author of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government issued in March, said there was a need for central government to increase local flexibility and improve transparency of the funding system to "grow the cake and to concentrate on economic prosperity".
He added: "A good local authority will be less interested in providing its services, less interested in getting best value for money, but more interested in building a coalition or series of coalitions with people outside of its boundaries to promote the interests of the community it serves."
Yesterday's National Public Procurement Practitioners Day 2007 also included the Government Opportunities "Excellence in Public Procurement Awards".
The lifetime achievement award was presented to David Wheller, a founder member and former chairman of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO). His previous roles also include chairman of the Central Buying Consortium and creator of the Procurement Agency for Essex.
With more than 30 years' experience in public procurement, Wheller also contributed to the National Procurement Strategy for Local Government and the Byatt Review of procurement in local government.
Joanne Leah, corporate procurement officer with Allerdale Borough Council, won the "Young procurement professional" category, in recognition of her outstanding contribution towards improving efficiency and saving money.