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15 July 2011 | Adam Leach
suppliers and public sector commissioners in the North East of England
are collaborating to improve public sector procurement in the region,
according to a report.
The study by the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) assessed the success of the North East Improvement and Efficiency Partnership’s (NEIEP) collaborative procurement programme. Through this initiative, 12 local authorities worked closely with suppliers to improve the way public procurement is conducted in the region.
The main goals were; to increase the amount of contracts won by north-east
based businesses, reduce the complexity of bidding processes and to
conduct procurement more strategically so that it produced wider
The report highlighted a number of key milestones,
including the development of a training programme for suppliers
intended to educate them on how best to compete for bids. A formal
network of authorities was also set up to focus efforts on generating business for the surrounding area, and the amount of data shared in relation to contracts was increased, to enable more informed decision making.
the report was critical of the level of awareness surrounding the
programme, fearing “key businesses perhaps missed the chance to get more
involved in influencing activity”. There was also disappointment over
the fact that less than half of the documents used followed a uniform
format. One of the issues raised during the programme was a need for
documents across bodies to share a consistent format. The North Eastern Purchasing Organisation (NEPO), led by Ian Taylor, will now continue the work.
Ross Smith, head of policy and research at the NECC said: “Commitment to NEPO’s role in ensuring procurement activity is supportive of developing the private sector economy in the north east
must be maintained, with supplier representatives continuing to have an
important role within its governance structure. Local authorities must
maintain their commitment to making NEPO work as a strategic procurement