Collaborative Procurement 'fragmented' suggests NAO & Audit Commission joint review

The review finds that although collaborative procurement has the potential to improve value for money, the public sector procurement landscape is fragmented, with no overall governance. Consequently, public bodies are incurring unnecessary administration costs by duplicating procurement activity, and they are paying a wide range of prices for the same commodities, even within existing collaborative arrangements.

It recommends that, given the size of public sector procurement spend and the potential to significantly improve value for money, public bodies should work together much more effectively than they currently do. And there should be a clear framework to coordinate public sector procurement activity.

Mr Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “The public sector spends £220 billion a year on goods and services. Given the potential to make significant savings, it is vital that there is much better coordination of procurement activities to ensure value for money is secured across the public sector.”

Eugene Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Audit Commission, said: “With all public service costs under pressure, better procurement provides an opportunity to make significant savings that don’t cut into front line services. Most councils already collaborate but, even where there is collaboration, it is not delivering all the possible benefits”

Download 'A review of collaborative procurement across the public sector' from the National Audit Office website.

National Audit Office

Audit Commission