19 June 2008
Large public sector departments in Australia and New Zealand should appoint a full-time CPO, suggests a report on behalf of both governments.
The call comes in a document drawn up by the Australian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) that describes the routes public sector buyers can take to enhance their careers. It also advised smaller departments to incorporate the responsibilities of a CPO into another senior role and said those leaders should report directly to the CEO or government executive. It forms part of a joint strategy to boost the numbers and skills of those in procurement across the two countries.
"To ensure public sector agencies are able to deliver on their objectives and mitigate the potential risk of poorly executed procurement and lost opportunities, urgent action is needed to attract and develop procurement capabilities across government," the guide said.
The APCC said traditionally procurement had not been recognised as a profession, resulting in poor value for money and high prices for goods and services. The guide identified four paths into procurement, including recruiting directly from the private sector. However, it said this would present "significant challenges" because of the tight labour markets in both countries.
Gavin Bell, director of recruitment firm Jigsaw Search, said many sectors are struggling to meet demand for buyers. "Organisations specialising in the mining and resources industry and specialist procurement consulting firms are probably the most desperate for talent," he told SM.