19 February 2009 | Jake Kanter
A group of MPs has called for the appointment of a full-time procurement minister.
An Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled in parliament by Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle said the post would support British industry during the economic downturn and boost public sector sustainability. The motion was signed by 23 MPs, including Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
The EDM said: "This house recognises the importance of using procurement policy to support British industry and business; recognises that government procurement can be used as a catalyst for many sectors of the economy, particularly at a time of economic downturn; acknowledges the need for a co-ordinated approach to procurement across government departments in order to maximise the potential benefits to UK business and industry; and calls for the creation of a ministerial post with direct responsibility for all Government procurement."
It added that the minister should also promote sustainability across public sector procurement.
Hoyle told Supplymanagement.com that purchasing should help protect jobs by supporting British suppliers. He explained that awarding contracts to vendors in other countries is "unacceptable" and wants to see the post created as soon as possible.
Conservative MP Ian Taylor, who signed the EDM, said there must be a ministerial figure to work across the government and encourage smart purchasing. He called for greater engagement with small suppliers to help the public sector secure innovation.