The Regional Improvement & Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) programme has hired collaborative buying expert David Gigg to help local government contribute to the national target of saving £7.7bn annually from public sector procurement.
Last May, the Operational Efficiency Programme estimated these savings were possible by 2013-14.
Mr Gigg will join from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), where he has held a number of roles, including director of supplier management.
He will be tasked with joining up the RIEPs’ procurement agenda and linking up with the OGC’s collaborative procurement programme.
“The public sector procurement landscape is complex and contains a huge number of diverse organisations,” said Mr Gigg. “If we collaborate, we get better value for money and will be able to play our part in meeting local government efficiency targets and contributing to [the] OEP [targets].”
He also emphasised that collaboration did not mean creating a few monolithic contracts across the whole sector. “It’s about aggregating the demand,” he added.
The RIEPs procurement strategy, led by Improvement & Efficiency South East director Andrew Larner, will focus on eight areas: professional services; energy; fleets; food; ICT; construction; office supplies; and travel.
The programme is bidding to prise further funds from the Department for Communities & Local Government to help bolster its efforts.