10 February 2009 | Paul Snell
A group has been established to improve the public sector's purchase of design services. The Associate Parliamentary Group for Design and Innovation (APGDI) has been set up by Labour MP Barry Sheerman to raise awareness in government about current procurement practice.
The project is a joint venture between non-profit organisation Policy Connect and industry group the Design Business Association (DBA). The DBA says its members in the sector have raised concerns that buying of design often follows poor practice, and this is on the increase.
The group is still searching for a chair, and will be made up of a panel of MPs, peers and design industry experts who will hear evidence on the topic like a select committee. The evidence will be gathered by July, with recommendations for improvement expected by October.
Oliver Coppard, manager of the APGDI at Policy Connect, said the idea was motivated by the findings of the 2005 Cox Review - which examined the UK's creative industries - and highlighted public sector procurement as an issue.
Buyers who wish to get involved or provide evidence to the panel should visit http://www.policyconnect.org.uk/design for more details.
Last week procurement minister Angela Eagle hosted a "design summit" in Downing Street, aimed at demonstrating how innovative design could help make savings.