The UK Government has just released plans for its reform of the Civil Service and includes commentary on the commissioning v procurement debate and possible distinctions.
CIPS as the largest professionalbody of its kind in the UK has issued a statement to clarify this proposed distinction:
"CIPS has a concern over the positioning of procurement in the recent Civil Service Reform Plan. Changes in the commissioning sphere over the past 12 months suggest there was always going to be a move towards commissioning becoming a separate discipline but we are clear that it is synonymous with strategic procurement and that many of the skills such as category management, supply chain analysis, and critical demand management are core procurement skills supporting the commissioning agenda.
"There are subtle distinctions between the two roles, as commissioners have wider service delivery requirements to ‘the citizen’, but the thinking behind strategic procurement must be utilised for commissioning to be effective. A large number of our members work in procurement and commissioning teams, especially in local government, so the synergies are already recognised.
"CIPS is clear that the proposed establishment of a separate Commissioning Academy is an unnecessary move. CIPS is already heavily engaged in the development of procurement capability in public sectors around the world and will share this expertise with UK government on this agenda to find a way for the two disciplines to work together going forward."
David Noble, June 2012