GPS slashes procurement lead-times

20 June 2013

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20 June 2013 | Adam Leach

The average procurement lead-time for Government Procurement Service (GPS) deals has been cut from more than 200 days to less than 100 in the past two years.

According to the Government Procurement Service: Performance Review 2012/13, published this month on the Cabinet Office website, the agency, which manages central spend, achieved an average of 91 days against a target of reducing the time from 127 days in 2011/12 to 115 days in 2012/13. Over the past two years the average has gone down from 220 days.

The report said: “Operational efficiency continues to be a key driver for GPS. Our continuous improvement programme has allowed us to increase the number of procurements undertaken while delivering them more quickly. Efficiency in this area has also been demonstrated by a reduction in the number of clarification requests received during procurements.”

Back in 2011, Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, issued a directive for all but the “most complex” procurements to be carried out within 120 days. To enable a speedier process, he called for departments to conduct more background work and market analysis before formally launching the procurement.

He said: “In future, major procurements should only take place after we have spoken informally to our potential suppliers. So we can make swift off-the-shelf purchases where appropriate or quickly choose the right supplier for the job.”

The report also revealed that all departments have now moved to a central travel contract, which has delivered savings of £115 million; that a memorandum of understanding signed with Microsoft on behalf of schools has cut licensing costs by 12 per cent; and that after suffering a series of delays, the ConsultancyONE framework is expected to deliver annual savings of £40 million.

Current managing director of GPS, David Shields, is to leave the role at the end of this month. Sally Collier, deputy chief procurement officer will become acting managing director.

See more analysis of the results on today's blog

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