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CIPS and Maude – a strong push-back on a narrow procurement vision

Spend Matters / UK/Europe - After Francis Maude, Minister in the UK Cabinet Office with responsibility for public procurement spoke recently at the PASC and made his worrying comments about procurement being the “bit in the middle” (see here and here), we hoped CIPS might respond on behalf of the profession.

And now David Noble, the Chief Executive, has done so. As well as picking up on that narrow view of procurement, Noble raises some notes of caution around the centralising programme.

“… we are disappointed to have heard the recent evidence from the Rt Honourable Francis Maude MP, … that portrays Government procurement as a narrowly focussed and technical activity sandwiched between developing an understanding of supply markets and contract management.

There still remains an ingrained mis-understanding about true value of procurement in the public sector sphere. The focus on ‘tactical’ procurement initially is disappointing. Yes, centralising this ‘tactical’ element in theory is a sensible move – but we stress the need for caution – making assumptions around standardisation and economies of scale are not easy to address”.