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7 April 2011 | Angeline Albert
The Metropolitan Police’s director of procurement services told SM he is confident he can double his £10 million cost reduction target this financial year.
Lee Tribe, who joined the Met last year, is responsible for an £850 million annual procurement spend and believes he can help reduce expenditure by £20 million.
He said this would be achieved by ensuring strict demand management and collaborative purchasing with other forces and members of the “Greater London Authority family” which includes Transport for London and the London Fire Brigade. Recruiting excellent procurement talent would also play a role, he said.
To manage demand, business units must get quotes for any purchase ranging from £500 to £50,000. They must also follow a procurement process clearly defined and overseen by Tribe’s team, which manages purchases of more than £50,000 by conducting a full tendering process.
As part of joint buying efforts with other police forces, Tribe’s team established a national framework agreement for the purchase of body armour for use by forces in England and Wales.
The procurement team has also recently tapped into the Office of Government Commerce's energy framework agreement and is considering taking up some of its other existing deals for fleet, stationery and professional services.
Tribe manages a purchasing team of around 70, which includes six buyers dedicated to the Olympics. Together they purchase everything from counter-terrorism IT systems to food for police dogs.
He said his team was getting greater business buy-in as a result of funding cuts. “Nobody wants frontline services affected,” he said. “Business units value procurement because they understand there is a lot of cost reduction needed. The challenge for us is to reduce back office costs.”
This was critical to ensuring the force met its strategic goal of keeping London safe, he said.