Contract Journal (p8) reports that the forum aims to encourage excellence in partnering and procurement and stimulate debate on relevant issues between the sectors, as well as enabling best practice procedures to be widely adopted.
Islington LBC, one of the councils on board, said the forum opened up new avenues for both sectors to communicate. Nick Sharman, its deputy chief executive, said: 'Working in partnership with the private sector is critical if local government is to improve its services in line with the government's best value programme.
'But traditional divisions between the public and private sectors have meant that these partnerships have been slow to develop. This initiative performs a vitally important task in providing a joint forum to discuss partnership strategies for procurement and contract management.'
'Being able to chat with people about issues without either side having an agenda is extremely useful,' he added.