12 March 2007 | Antony Barton
The author of the Scottish public sector procurement review has urged the country's procurement professionals to overhaul public spending.
John McClelland CBE, author of last year's Review of Public Procurement in Scotland, told an Edinburgh conference of procurement officers that the public sector response to his report was positive and constructive but more improvements were necessary.
He said: "Procurement is a challenging profession demanding business, contract, communication and radical skills. It is critical the momentum of my report is maintained."
McClelland's report provided recommendations on the structure, organisation, skills and procedures of public sector procurement in Scotland.
Among his findings were: a need for urgent action on governance issues, the necessity for a supplier charter to address significant concerns held by suppliers and a Procurement Reform Board to implement the recommendations.
In his speech, at the inaugural Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO) in Local Government Scottish Conference, McClelland said that the establishment of the Reform Board and the high activity in the supplier advisory group were positive steps.
David Pointon, SOPO chairman, told supplymanagement.com that public procurement professionals in Scotland were now working to a co-ordinated action plan.
He said: "Scotland seems to be grasping the nettle. I'm not sure whether it's because the public sector is smaller and communication is easier but procurement professionals are communicating effectively across the Scottish executive.
"I know we're trying to do this in England but Scotland seems to be about a year ahead of us. We can learn some lessons from that."