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4 May 2012 | Adam Leach
Local authorities should pledge to make procurement processes less bureaucratic, hold market days with suppliers and work with industry associations to open up SME access through procurement reforms.
These promises are contained in the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Draft Procurement Pledge for Local Authorities, published yesterday.
The council representative body launched the pledge to emphasise the sector’s commitment to support economic growth and wants feedback on the document.
The full pledge commits to using local government procurement to: deliver value for public money; drive economic growth and regeneration; and provide inclusive services through a diverse supplier base.
In support of those aims, it commits to promote and implement less burdensome and bureaucratic procurement processes; build skills, capacity and expertise in procurement; involve users, citizens and partners in the procurement process; and where appropriate, hold supplier market days and provide feedback on the procurement process.
It also promised to work alongside the Cabinet Office and central government in order to help improve public procurement across the whole public sector.
In March, the LGA declined an invitation from Central Government to sign up to its own Procurement Pledge. The LGA explained its reluctance to sign it, saying it believed the government’s pledge was much more geared towards “big business” than was appropriate for the LGA, due to the fact that its members rely much more heavily on SMEs.
It also said the central government commitment to complete procurement processes within 120 days was “unrealistic” and doubted the initiative of publishing forward pipelines would be useful.
The LGA said it would support improvement in local government procurement by “identifying and promoting current good practice”, provide a voice for the sector through the National Advisory Group for Local Government Procurement and encourage collaboration on buying between councils.
The consultation runs until 8 June, and submissions should be emailed to email@example.com