RIP the OGC website – the end of an important procurement resource

The OGC website will be removed on October 1st and send to the Southern Cross Rest Home for defunct Websites in Bognor or wherever these things are... well, not quite, the national archives website here actually.

It's understandable I suppose given the total re-branding, and change of focus that has gone on in government procurement since the election last year. But I can't help feeling a little sad, partly because there's quite a lot of my work over the years on the website, from the Procurement Capability Review  model to guidance on PQQs, supply chain management, and various other topics.

But the sadness is also because it signifies what has been a change of emphasis. There's been far less generalised guidance, best practice and similar coming out of OGC / Cabinet Office since last May, and it's pretty clear that is going to continue.

The focus is clearly on the centralised procurement initiative, the 'top supleirs' work, and a few specific policy activities that Cabinet Office can drive themselves such as the Innovation Launch Pad. There is much less about improving procurement across the entirety of the public sector.  Maybe that's a sensible pragmatic view from Francis Maude given headcount reductions and cost cutting, and Cabinet Office has to set an example. We might also ask how successful OGC really were in improving things in the Cumbria Police, or a hospital in Devon.

But... they tried. We tried.

Any new information will be published on the Cabinet Office website, they say - but there is likely to be far less of it than we saw between 2000-10 from OGC.

RIP OGC, and your wesbite. And thanks for all the good times... (sniff, sniff...)

Voices (6)

  1. Andy Murray:

    Hi Peter
    It is indeed sad, as there’s so much good content that has not moved across to the Cabinet Office. One such example is the Excellence in Construction guides. There are a lot of Cabinet Office initiatives regarding construction at the moment and I fear all it will do is provide guidance no better than whas is already available. I now regularly visit the archives when searching for best practice guides!
    Best regards
    Andy

  2. flog:

    What about all those external web links from various public sector organisations triggered by those immortal words e.g. for more information “click here” used to direct the non-procurement, part-time buyer, to a relevant piece of information on the OGC website. I’m assuming all these URLs will fail causing frustration and the ‘it was working last week!’

  3. Dan:

    On the one hand, i think its sad that such a valuable resource is being lost, and that the wider public sector is being left to fend for itself a bit more. On the other hand, you could argue that the Cabinet Officer/ERG is fighting an easier ‘battle’ by focussing more on just governmental spend.

    I think, in a few years, we will see a ‘new’ multi-million pound ‘initiative’ to disseminate government best practice around the public sector once they’ve made the easy wins in central government spend. Followed, a few years later by another ‘new’ multi-million pound initiative to focus more on central government spend. These things tend to go in cycles, both in the public sector and private sector….

  4. Sarah Cotgreave:

    This is truly a shame. I know a lot of other governments and multi-lateral organisations like the Asian Development Bank refer to the information on the OGC website on a regular basis. I was talking about the Constructing Excellence material only yesterday.

    Are they “throwing the baby out with the bath water”?

  5. Barry Henniker:

    Peter

    I can appreciate the yen for the coalition to distance itself from the very existance of OGC/Buying Solutions but consigning such a hard earned and valuable body of knowledge the the “National Archives” is a seriously regressive step which sends completely the wrong messages to guys in the public procurement landscape. So is the Cabinet Office goung to carry on the tradition or not?

    Who knows?

  6. Matt:

    It is a shame that the OGC site is going, I have used their guidance and service desk on numerous occasions.

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