12 January 2010 I Jake Kanter
The UK government has unveiled plans to stimulate economic growth through purchasing.
Under the Policy through Procurement Action Plan, public sector buyers will be expected to contribute to financial recovery by supporting small businesses, boosting apprenticeships and cutting carbon emissions.
The scheme, launched yesterday by chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne, will align purchasing with wider government policies and should boost collaboration, helping public bodies “speak with a single voice”.
From the spring, all departments will be measured on the value of contracts they agree with small suppliers, the number of apprenticeships supported through purchasing and the number of suppliers willing to disclose carbon emissions. The Office of Government Commerce will then monitor progress on these objectives.
As part of the plans, the government will also establish a “supplier charter”, which will encourage vendors to commit to procurement priorities. It is hoped this will save signatories money as they will not have to deal with many different departmental agendas.
Alongside this are a number of other “milestones” for 2010 and early 2011, including guidance and training for buyers on the action plan and consultation with wider public bodies on how to apply the proposals.
Byrne said: “Government spending power will help to lock in the recovery by providing support and investment to businesses up and down the country.”