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The National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS) will enable the devolved government to get more out of the taxpayers’ pound and reduce the pain inflicted by budget cuts, the Welsh finance minister has told SM.
As SM reported in March, the Welsh Government said the NPS could save the taxpayer up to £25 million a year by leveraging spend on “common and repetitive goods and services”. The organisation, which will launch in November, will make the most of spending across the Welsh public sector by negotiating central deals covering areas such as IT and furniture, which account for £4.3 billion expenditure a year.
Speaking to SM, finance minister Jane Hutt said the NPS would provide vital efficiency. “We’re in a very difficult time with reduced budgets and cuts from the UK government to our block grant and we have to ensure that we are delivering best value for money. We need to get the most out of the Welsh pound,” she said.
While the launch is still months away, Hutt explained that significant progress has already been made in signing up authorities and public sector organisations across Wales. She revealed that more than 75 per cent of relevant bodies have already signed up to participate and leverage their spend.
Recruitment is also underway, with the government looking to hire up to 40 category specialists to work within the NPS and drive high-value deals in their specialist areas. Hutt said they want category experts at a range of grades, with a natural instinct for leadership and the ability to get stakeholders on side.