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A question of procurement

Government Computing - What is the government’s latest thinking on developing the Crown Commercial Service, its relationship with suppliers of all sizes and their performance, the role of frameworks and ‘dynamic purchasing’? David Bicknell reports.

 Earlier this summer at the government’s announcement of meeting its £10bn spending targets, chief procurement officer Bill Crothers said government procurement was set for greater integration.

That, together with the stated development of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), raised questions of how that integration might be achieved.

Recently, Government Computing was given a briefing by deputy chief procurement officer Sally Collier on how integration plans were developing, how moves towards a new European procurement directive were proceeding and how government is continuing to develop its relationships with suppliers both large and small.

Currently, government procurement has commercial policy activity and operations across the country, with staff based in Norwich and London and Government Procurement Service (GPS) sites based in Liverpool, Newport, Norwich and London.

What Collier is keen to put over is the scale of ambition in the development of the Crown Commercial Service where the fundamental building block is a move away from moving from being a “framework shop” to providing a fully managed commercial service.

That means taking steps to hire “the very best (commercial) people in the country.”