15 June 2011 | Lindsay Clark
Better procurement can increase the efficiency of
waste management and at the same time improve the service to the public.
A government policy review said
that local authorities needed the tools and expertise to procure waste services
better, both by working together to achieve economies of scale and by using
framework contracts based on minimum service standards.
“Joint working will give authorities
stronger bargaining power when setting up contracts and allow for economies of
scale, such as in procuring collection fleets,” the report said.
The Departmentfor Environment Food and Rural Affairs, which
published the review, said it already worked closely with council advisory
agency Improvement and Efficiency SouthEast (iESE) to support collaborative
working. Funding has already been given to a number of developing partnerships
across the country to improve waste services procurement, it said.
“Nearly every local authority in England
now accesses the Waste Improvement Network [which provides advice on purchasing
and framework deals], administered by iESE with Defra support, and many ..rely
on iESE expertise and advice on procurement, partnership creation or on
conducting efficiency health checks,” the review added.
The government is also looking for
businesses to promote sustainable procurement to reduce waste materials in
their supply chains. At the same time, it committed to make it easier for
businesses to “do the right thing” with their waste and resources by practising
sustainable procurement in its own operations.