08 April 2009 | Jake Kanter
In a report seen exclusively by SM, London Mayor Boris Johnson is pointing to responsible procurement as an important factor in steering the capital out of the recession.
In the paper Getting value for London, by the Greater London Authority (GLA) group, Johnson said purchasing was a "key tool" for supporting businesses and promoting skills and employment in the capital.
The report details how the GLA group, which includes Transport for London (TfL) and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), is working on projects to promote "good" procurement and support the city's economy.
The initiatives include making contracts more accessible to small businesses via the London Development Agency's CompeteFor website, simplifying pre-qualification questionnaires, and improving feedback for suppliers that miss out on contracts.
The GLA wants to ensure all vendors, particularly SMEs, are paid in 10 days to help their cash flow. Currently TfL is the quickest to pay of the GLA organisations, settling nearly 90 per cent of its invoices in 10 days. MPS, the GLA organisation's slowest payer, settles about 35 per cent of its invoices in the same period.
The GLA's head of economic development Henry Abraham told SM: "We're spending £3 billion a year with suppliers. If we don't align what they're doing with the things we're trying to achieve economically, environmentally and socially, then we're wasting money."
Katherine Adams, head of responsible procurement, added: "If we are going to be in this difficult economic time for a while, we will be using the responsible procurement programme to deliver as many benefits as possible."