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31 May 2012 | Adam Leach
The Cabinet Office has published a list of procurement reforms and the deadlines for them to be completed by in its latest business plan.
The business plan published today revealed end dates for purchasing reforms being carried out by the Efficiency and Reform Group within the department.
The plan detailed the Cabinet Office will work to “deliver on the aim” of 25 per cent of contract spend going to SMEs, a key part of the government procurement reform agenda, by March 2013. The initiative to publish sectoral ‘pipelines’ – details about potential upcoming procurements - is to be completed by October of this year, and all but the most complex procurements will be required to be carried out within 120 days from March 2013.
Launching this year's business plans, minister for government policy Oliver Letwin said: “The updated business plans set out our ambitions clearly. Instead of announcing ambiguous goals and far-away targets, we have set out exactly what we are going to do and by when, channelling our efforts to those areas where government has the most influence."
The Cabinet Office also aims to have £2 billion passing through project bank accounts, an initiative where the government ensures that sub-contractors working on publicly funded projects are paid within five days, on construction projects.
This year, departmental business plans also include the names of the senior officials with responsibility for projects and initiatives. In terms of procurement reform, Ian Watmore, permanent secretary at the Cabinet Office is named responsible, although he is leaving the Cabinet Office at the end of next month. Melanie Dawes, director general of the economic and domestic secretariat in the department, will step in as acting permanent secretary before a full-time replacement is appointed.
SM is awaiting a response from the Cabinet Office on whether all of the responsbilities assigned to Watmore in the business plan will be assigned to Dawes, and then the permanent replacement.