7 April 2011 | Lindsay
The UK government has published its first contract notice for compulsory joint buying
across all central departments.
The tender announcement for office supplies says it heralds a “new centralised
procurement model intended to transform how government buys common goods and
Although UK government departments have been able to collaborate on buying
through framework agreements in the past, critics claimed that because they
could not guarantee volume, suppliers were unable to offer the best prices. In
this case the government said it can guarantee a minimum spend of £40 million
over four years, however it estimates the final spend managed through the deal
could be as much as 10 times more.
The tender notice says the new model “brings together a new governance
structure, empowered by the minister for the cabinet office, to make key
decisions on procurement for central government. This will be supported through
centralised category management teams negotiating best value contracts for
central government, based on volume bound agreements.
“The aim is that this
arrangement, once awarded, will be used by all central government departments,
their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies,” the document said.
A number of councils and other public sector organisations such as the Civil
Aviation Authority have also signed up to use the deal.
John Collington, the current head of procurement for the Cabinet Office’s Efficiency
and Reform Group (ERG), said last year that over four years this new procurement
model would be able to cut 25 per cent from the £13 billion spent on common
goods and services in central government.
As reported by SM, the ERG head of procurement role is set to merged with the job of chief
executive at Buying Solutions, the UK government’s purchasing agency.
Interviews took place last month but the Cabinet Office is yet to name the new