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Good procurement 'is best value', local government minister Nick Raynsford has said. ...
Good procurement 'is best value', local government minister Nick Raynsford has said.

Mr Raynsford told a New Local Government Network conference on procurement and best value the process of buying goods and services needed a higher profile.

He highlighted the work of the Local Government Procurement Task Force, which concluded commissioning must be rooted in the wishes of the community, not the needs of the council.

He said: 'All this requires a different way of thinking. Most importantly, it requires a shift away from commissioning a service, to commissioning an outcome.

'Good procurement practice needs to be embedded throughout your authority. It should be present in your corporate overview, it is an integral part of performance management, it links community leadership with delivery.'

He added: '[Good procurement] is best value. It is not merely another area for consideration.'

Central government will build on the task force's work with a framework, to be included in the white paper, giving extra autonomy to 'effective and innovative' councils.

There was a 'massive under-utilisation' of new technology, but electronic procurement could make huge improvements to practice. He urged councils to share best practice on

e-procurement to hasten its use.

Mr Raynsford said there would be investment to ensure sustainability.

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