Maude needs 'broader' understanding of procurement

4 June 2013

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4 June 2013 | Adam Leach

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude and central government need to develop a “broader” and “more comprehensive” understanding of procurement and the value it brings if the profession is to achieve its true potential, according to CIPS CEO David Noble.

The call comes after the minister responsible for overseeing central government spending appeared to play down the strategic value of procurement.

Appearing before the Public Administration Select Committee last month, Maude referred to procurement as the “relatively narrow and… very short technical part in the middle [of commissioning]”.

In response to Maude’s evidence, Noble said: “We need to see a broader and more comprehensive understanding of procurement’s value coming from central government and its intrinsic role in the commissioning cycle if we are to ever make real headway in enabling this profession to demonstrate its true potential in the public sector.”

He picked out “waste management”, “defence procurement” and “medical equipment” as among the crucial areas of public service delivery where procurement plays a central role. Rather than fulfilling a transactional role, he characterised the function as being about “value, shaping markets, and creating new enterprises”.

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