What do the Liberals think about public procurement?

I've written a piece for Supply Management about the manifestos from the three main parties.  I won't duplicate what should be in that piece, but since I wrote it last Wednesday, there is suddenly a bit more interest in what the Liberals have to say!

I felt it was the lightest of the three in terms of public procurement interest; the Tories are critical of current performance, and have some interesting ideas (such as publishing all major contracts) while Labour talk a lot in theirs about savings and efficiency.  But the liberals...here are ALL the mentions of procurement in their document.

"Better government IT procurement, investigating the potential of different approaches such as cloud computing and open-source software".

Don't you think 'cloud computing' has a nice, vaguely hippy, Liberal feel to it?

With strong Treasury involvement, review all major defence procurement projects through the SSDR to ensure money is being spent effectively.

That's the Strategic Security and Defence Review by the way, which they will instigate. This sounds like current Gateway / MPRG process doesn't it?  Nothing to see here.  Move along there.

We will use government procurement policy to expand the market for sustainable and fair-traded products.

Now there's an interesting one; no deatil on how you actually achieve that though?  And a lot has already been done in the 'sustainability' space as anyone in public procurement will tell you.

The cross-government economies needed to reduce the deficit such as on pay, pensions, and IT procurement will affect all departments, so it would simply be dishonest to say that entire departmental budget can be ringfenced
from cuts.

Some honesty on the need for cuts but without much detail as to the where and how.

And that's it.  Nothing as 'game changing' as the Tories ideas on openness; nothing to scare the (procurement) horses either.  But I can reveal what every senior civil servant in Whitehall will be doing tomorrow; just what I've been doing.  Reading the Liberal manifesto....and wondering "could it actually happen?  Might we actually have to implement this?"

As I've said before, strange days...and getting stranger.

First Voice

  1. Adam:

    For more top IT civil service terminology see the CIO ICT strategy that I was reading last week. Promise I’m not making these up:

    The Government G-Cloud
    Government Apps Store
    Data Centre Rationalisation

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