practice has been given a boost by the announcement of nine centres
of procurement excellence.
providing expertise to other councils and by building on existing
The launch of the new centres marks a fundamental step towards
assisting local authorities across the country in implementing the
National Procurement Strategy for Local Government.
The new regional centres of procurement excellence are:
North EastGateshead MBC
West Midlands Worcestershire CC
South WestDorset CC
North WestTameside MBC
South EastKent CC
Yorkshire and HumbersideLeeds City Council
East MidlandsNottinghamshire CC
East of EnglandNorfolk CC
LondonAssociation of London Government on
behalf of the London Boroughs
Announcing the nine centres, local government minister Phil Hope
'Following the launch of the National Procurement Strategy for Local
Government in October 2003, today marks another important stage in
our joint working with the LGA to improve public services and achieve
better value for money.
'We need to be certain that the£40bn per year that councils
spend buying goods and services is managed with efficiency,
innovation, resourcefulness and prudence.
'I have been keen to establish these centres as soon as possible,
because we need to start now if we are going to meet the milestones
set out in the National Procurement Strategy, especially those for
The joint ODPM/LGA capacity building fund will provide up to£3.6m
funding per annum for the centres for the financial years
2004/5 and 2005/6.
Welcoming the announcement, LGA chairman Jeremy Beecham
'Delivering good quality public services for all citizens, is local
government's top priority. The establishment of regional centres of
excellence will be a vital step in ensuring the success of the
National Procurement Strategy, by enabling more effective and
flexible local collaboration between councils in regional areas.
'Building on, and promoting their own good practice and effective
partnership working with other sectors, councils can help to make
their local success story become a national one. This is not only
good news for local authorities and their partners in central
government and other agencies, but most importantly good news for
communities who will see the results in increasingly better quality
and better value public services.'
1. The National Procurement Strategy was launched in October last
year and sets out challenging milestones for councils to meet by
2006. The ODPM, LGA, IDeA and 4ps have established a number of
programmes and activities to provide support and enhance councils'
ability to achieve these milestones. See
2. The new centres of procurement excellence authorities have
demonstrated best practice through strategic leadership, use of
innovative technology, project management, and performance
measurement. Their skills and experience will result in efficiency
savings and increased value for money in procurement across the
3. Each centre of procurement excellence is hosted by an authority
that will project manage the centre on behalf of other authorities
and take responsibility for managing the funding and employing staff.
Host authorities are expected to work in close co-operation with
other authorities in the region.
4. Representatives from wider stakeholder groups such as the private
sector, voluntary, social enterprise, community sector suppliers,
regional development agencies and other public sectors will be
involved to ensure openness and encourage healthy debate about best
practise in the context of local needs from all perspectives.
5. Procurement continues to feature as one of the government's top
policy priorities for raising the standards and efficiency of public
services in local government and throughout the public sector.