07 March 2007 | Paul Snell
The government is to nominate a permanent secretary "champion" to help strengthen its commitment to sustainable procurement.
The idea was outlined in the government's Sustainable Procurement Action Plan, released this week as a response to last year's Sustainable Procurement Task Force (SPTF) report, which described how the public sector should use its spend more sustainably. The champion will help the head of the civil service, Sir Gus O'Donnell, oversee the delivery of the plan and report on its progress.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which co-ordinated the response with the Treasury, also said it would begin consultations on the creation of a centre of sustainable procurement excellence. This would provide support, guidance and advice for public sector purchasers on sustainability.
Environment secretary David Miliband said: "The government accepts the SPTF's challenge to 'use its immense buying power' to progress toward our goals to move to a low carbon economy."
Yet the government did reject a number of the SPTF's proposals, including a single department to lead on the issue of sustainable procurement. The report also said any decision to appoint commercial directors to the boards of departments that spend more than £1 million would require further consideration by the OGC.