Energy Collaboration scoops public procurement prize

Well done to the Collaborative Energy Team, which includes people from OGC and other UK Government Departments, who won the Procurement Award last Thursday at the Civil Service Awards.

I hope to get some further comments from the team in the near future, but I know how much effort went into this, and while it hasn't all been plain sailing, it has been very worthwhile and defiintely one of most successful collaborative procurement efforts in the public sector.  (More in this NAO report - energy is one of the 'case studies' - if you want to read more).

Interestingly, it hasn't worked by 'mandating' everyone into large central contracts.  Rather, it has given different collaborative buying organisations  a 'seal of approval' that they earn by showing they understand how to buy energy in a best practice manner.  They then act as aggregators and collaborative leads for the entire public sector buying community in this category.

So might that model read across to the wider 'centralising Whitehall procurement' initiative?   I'm not sure.  Every spend category needs to be looked at individually, and different strategies will be appropriate in different cases, so we shouldn't draw too many conclusions from this.   But the success shown in the Energy category does at least show an alternative  to the "single procurement / contract, heavy mandate"' approach that sometimes appears a more obvious (although not necessarily successful) strategy for collaboration .

And congratulations also to the sustainable procurement team from HM Revenue and Customs and the Home Office, who won the sustainability award; I know less about this initiative, but they "worked collaboratively to help influence joint supply chains to improve sustainable operations".

First Voice

  1. Christine Morton:

    Rumour has it the Energy team met the Queen herself! Well done!

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