CIPS News


Was David Cameron right to criticise procurement in the public sector?

CIPS 11 March 2011

CIPS CEO response to news this week that Cameron believes procurement is not doing its job

"Given the scale of the public deficit problem, it is unsurprising that David Cameron has made some strong statements about the role and effectiveness of public sector procurement. It is a fact of public and private sector life that large contracts are not always handled by procurement professionals. Because of a conflict of targets, other departments may make the final decision with procurement acting only in an advisory capacity.
 
It’s a laudable aim that the Government is encouraging 25% of public spend to go to SMEs. As the professional institute for procurement, we support the work done by local business enterprises and recognise the value, innovation and creativity SMEs can bring to any economy. The SME initiative however, is not that straightforward. Making the right professional decision should be at the core of procurement and supply best practice, and making the right decision, in this case, for the taxpayer is paramount. We are working with the UK Government on a variety of projects, including acting as a key adviser on the Procurement Excellence Board so we anticipate improvements will be made
 
Understanding the value the procurement profession can bring is fundamental to the success of any organisation. As the professional body for the profession, we have a role in highlighting and communicating the importance of fairness and professionalism in streamlining government buying practices to increase efficiency and value for money, whether the contract is awarded to a large corporation or an SME."

David Noble

CEO, CIPS

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