Joint buying celebrated at public procurement awards

17 November 2011

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17 November 2011 | Angeline Albert

Collaborative purchasing proved to be a shining star at last night’s 2011 SOPO Awards, which honoured public sector procurement staff for purchasing excellence. 

Four awards were given for outstanding achievement in procurement at the gala dinner, hosted at the Queens Hotel in Leeds by the Societyof Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO).         

The Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation, which is one of five public sector purchasing consortiums that are part of the Pro5, won the ‘wider public sector award’ for its “innovative, flexible and consultative approach” in the establishment of MSTAR the (Managed Services for Temporary Agency Resources) framework agreement.

The framework was established to help the wider public sector purchase temporary labour. In its first five months the framework saved 12 customers around £1.49 million (8 per cent of total spend).

Suffolk won the ‘county council’ category for a £607 million waste treatment PFI contract for the design, build and operation of a facility to generate energy. The project will save Suffolk up to £438 million in cost avoidance during the lifetime of the deal as a result of diverting 95 per cent waste from landfill. It will also produce enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.        

Collaboration between Coventry CityCouncil, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council won the ‘single tier’ (unitary council) award for a joint three-year savings plan which details their categories and anticipated savings. In the first year of delivery they surpassed the target of £2.6 million by delivering £7.3 million. In the first six months of this financial year it delivered £3.7 million against a target of £2.09 million.

A virtual hub of procurement officers from 15 councils in Hampshire picked up the prize in the ‘non-unitary district/borough council’ category. Judges said their virtual hub efforts had avoided “a formal shared services hub which required high levels of investment and restructuring”.


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