The Treasury is to slim down the remit of the Office of Government Commerce, taking away its responsibility for the wider public sector and making it concentrate on central government IT and online performance.
John Healey, financial secretary to the Treasury, has announced the slimming down of OGC’s remit following the publication of the Transforming Government Procurement document.
Healey said, "We must remain uncompromising in our pursuit of value for money for the taxpayer. The Government intends that, in the next Comprehensive Spending Review round, procurement will drive the delivery of public services in a way that matches the global pace of change."
He said, "Innovative procurement methods and responsive solutions set alongside the public sector's capability and skills are key to ensuring the UK can speed up the delivery of world class public services and meet the global challenges we face."
Measures to be introduced in delivering this government vision include reforming the Government procurement service and raising its status within government departments and increasing the skills of procurement professionals.
The remit of the Major Projects Review Group will also be widened to ensure complex procurement projects are subject to effective scrutiny at key stages, such as approval of the business case.
To help with these changes, the Office of Government Commerce will be given powers to set out the procurement standards departments need to meet, monitor departments performance against them, require inter-departmental collaboration where appropriate, and to support the Major Projects Review Group.
To ensure that it is properly equipped to exercise these powers, Healey said the OGC will be given a clearer focus to drive better value for money in central government procurement, on major complex acquisition programmes and projects, and on estates management. It will become “a smaller, higher calibre organisation”, said Healey.
John Oughton, chief executive of the OGC, said, "Today's announcement represents both an opportunity and a challenge for us. This is the first major re-shaping of the procurement agenda since the OGC was established. The procurement agenda is central to the government's purpose. I am confident that the new OGC will be better placed to support the delivery of the transformation."
Transforming Government Procurement document is available here:
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