Description:The public service spends €9bn annually on goods and services. Excluding capital expenditure, this accounts for approximately 12% of GDP. The reform of the public service procurement functions will deliver sustainable savings for the tax payer and make a significant contribution to the deficit reduction programme. The existing structures are fragmented with procurement performed in many organisations across the public service in an uncoordinated fashion.
Implication(s):Government has established the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) under the leadership of the Chief Procurement Officer to build on existing procurement reform initiatives by centralising procurement for common goods and services across Government, aggregating expenditure together with developing new analytic capabilities, stronger vendor and category management, and operational delivery responsibilities. This move is in line with best practice in the public and private sector and is part of the continuing reform programme being driven by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The OGP will also coordinate and develop public procurement policy. The establishment of the OGP was recommended in the report on the Review of the Central Procurement Function.
Current Position:There is significant scope to make improvements to public procurement in Ireland that will benefit all parties and ultimately the tax-paying public. The public procurement process, if conducted properly, should be the hidden hand of the supply chain. It is increasingly viewed by Government and the European Commission as a mechanism to drive specific policy objectives. These policy objectives include: innovation, growth of SMEs, green public procurement and socially responsible public procurement. Therefore, greater emphasis needs to be on “what” is being purchased rather than “how” it is being procured. Thus, it is important that a central purchasing body takes the lead in such cases so as to prevent potential market distortions or increased prices to the taxpayer
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Last Updated: 03/05/2012