A cornucopia of exciting public sector procurement stuff to look at next week…

There have been a couple of significant public sector announcements and publications recently that we'll need to look into in greater detail over the coming days, but are worth highlighting now.

The Cabinet Office first started promoting Lean Sourcing over a year ago, and now we're seeing material published by them to support its use in central government and perhaps more widely in the UK public sector. There's a range of material you can access here, such as a procurement decision tree and briefing packs.

And if you get bored over the holiday weekend (in the UK anyway) you can spend a few happy hours digesting the 53 page Lean Sourcing Manual.

We'll take a closer look at all this and give our views shortly.

Now, moving on to the Health system, we reported a couple of months back on the NHS Procurement Strategy conference at which the keynote speaker announced that the strategy had in fact been delayed. The Department of Health this week announced the start of a consultation period which will (they say) result in a new strategy being published by the end of 2012. They've invited comments and ideas.

And as we exclusively revealed after that event, Sir Ian Carruthers has been appointed to lead this activity.

There's also some tangible material published now in lieu of the “strategy” - it covers stuff the NHS needs to be doing now in terms of improving procurement. That seems to be pretty much as Beth Loudon presented – and we reported – from that same conference, but we need to look at it more closely.

I'm trying to stay positive about this. But with my cynical hat on, it does feel like there have been so many reports into NHS procurement over the last few years – including the OGC Procurement Capability Review for which I was one of the reviewers – that it's hard to see why more ideas are needed. I suspect we could hand-pick half a dozen individuals, sit in the pub for the evening, and end up with something as useful as the output Carruthers will produce.

But I suppose if the consultation helps to get buy-in from clinicians and other interested parties, then it may be worthwhile. That remains one of the key points that must be addressed in the strategy, along with issues around aggregation versus localisation, the procurement landscape (collaborative bodies etc.), and how best to work with the market structures on the supply side.

Anyway, more to come when we've assimilated this new material.

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  1. Final Furlong:

    Thanks Peter – really helpful. Looking forward to the future posts.

    And let’s not forget that GPS will be using all of this ‘lean’ to create and maintain their own version of ‘framework heaven’…

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