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23 May 2013
The London boroughs of Waltham Forest and Enfield have combined to create a single procurement team, enabling the two authorities to exploit their combined spending powers.
The shared service provides additional resilience and expertise as well as the opportunity to achieve savings through collaborative procurement.
David Levy, joint assistant director for procurement and commissioning at Waltham Forest council, told SM: “The collaboration came about as both boroughs felt that the smaller procurement teams were not working efficiently enough. Both councils now have the same procurement strategies and policies which will assist local businesses in the tendering process for either borough."
Its success was honoured at this year’s National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards.
The shared function combines category management, where the main focus is consolidating all indirect spend, as well as a single systems team that looks after e-procurement and e-tendering systems. It is also working towards aligning end dates to all contracts and driving joint procurement wherever possible.
Levy explained how the service is also involved in wider collaborations across London. “We are taking the lead in a foster-care exercise, focusing on achieving savings on independent fostering places across 12 boroughs in north and east London.”
The joint function scooped the ‘Team of the Year’ award. Speaking after the event, councillor Mark Rusling, Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet member for economic development and corporate resources, said: “This award is a credit to the teams in Enfield and Waltham Forest and recognises the fact that, by coming together, both boroughs have benefited from an increased pool of procurement expertise and a unified approach to procurement systems and category management.”
The service was initially developed in April 2011 but only became operational in September 2012.