Buy early and buy often

29 November 2007
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29 November 2007 | Paul Snell

All major purchasing for the 2012 Olympics should be completed between the end of 2008 and the middle of 2009.

Speaking at a CIPS event in London earlier this month, Rob Knight, head of procurement and contracts at Olympic delivery partner CLM, said the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will be placing around 250 "major" contracts, worth more than £20 million, and around 2,000 smaller contracts.

He added it is the legacy of the games that is at the forefront of the minds of the procurement team. "The most important part of what we are doing is delivering the legacy. The programme will be judged on what we leave behind."

He said a fixed procurement code is vital to maintain standards among staff, as he expects the National Audit Office to scrutinise the procurement process in its next report on the games' preparation.

Procurement for the Olympics is being handled by Morag Stuart, head of procurement at the ODA, together with Knight.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) also has a procurement function, headed by Richard Mould.

Knight said public sector processes can be cumbersome, but are vital for the project's management. "It sometimes galls me how long it takes to get through the process. But the importance is the governance, thoroughness and transparency."

Mould said the organization has talked to others, such as Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Unicef, to examine their progress on sustainability and responsible sourcing ahead of the launch of the Olympic sustainability policy this week.

He added he expects the size of the procurement team at LOCOG to increase as the games draw closer to manage contracts.


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