15 November 2007 | Antony Barton
The OGC has nothing to teach local government purchasers, according to a procurement expert who works closely with the department.
Speaking at the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (Sopo) annual conference in London last week, Steve Holland, director of the Regional Centres of Excellence (RCE) Procurement Programme, said: "There's nothing those guys can teach you. You know more about spend in local authorities than anyone else. The issue is how you use your voice, individually and collectively, to shape the procurement agenda."
David Pointon, Sopo chairman, said there has been a mind-set within the public sector of "my deal is better than yours".
He said: "The deals have been competitive rather than collaborative and that has been an issue about all the government procurement agencies so far."
On the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007, Holland said a National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy backed by central government and the Local Government Association will be published at the end of this month. It looks beyond the value-for-money focus of the Spending Review 2004, to improving the quality of life for citizens.
The RCE and Regional Improvement Partnerships will combine to create a single organisation in each of the nine RCE regions. The Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships will be in place by 1 April 2008, and will have three times the current financial resources of the RCE. They will also enjoy stronger ties with organisations such as the Improvement and Development Agency.