Fingal leads the way in local authority procurement

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One of the key priorities set out in the Public Service Reform Plan is to reduce costs and achieve better value for money through reform of public procurement.

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was officially launched in July 2013 and operates as an office of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. In due course it will take full responsibility for procurement policy and procedures and, together with the four key Sectors in Health, Defence, Education and Local Government, for the sourcing of all goods and services on behalf of the public service.
The OGP will work in collaboration with these key sectors to optimise benefits to the public service through the strategic aggregation of its buying power. It has been given a mandate to procure on behalf of the whole of the public sector with the aim of delivering savings of €500m between now and 2016. Local Government have been targeted to achieve €58.5m in savings.

In response to the changing landscape in procurement, the Local Government Sector through the City and County Managers Association (CCMA) have recently established a Strategic Procurement Centre based in Dublin which will be responsible for liaising with the OGP and Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on behalf of the sector; ensuring compliance with National, regional and sectoral frameworks; sharing good practice; the management of Operational Procurement Centre(s); nomination of Category Council representatives and most importantly spend analytics.

In addition to providing a quality level of public services to our citizens, we have a responsibility in our own local authority to ensure our procurement activity, which supports the provision of these services, is in compliance with legislative requirements. Furthermore, we must achieve value for money efficiencies and reductions in administrative costs by utilising National or regional procurement opportunities which will allow us deliver services within budgetary constraints.

A Procurement Section within the Finance Department in Fingal has been established to co-ordinate procurement activity within Fingal County Council and to keep the organisation informed in respect of the national and regional procurement agenda. The Procurement Section will be a key support to those who procure goods and services so together we can ensure our procurement objectives are achieved.

The recently established Procurement Steering Group comprising representatives from the various departments will also play a crucial role in strengthening our procurement processes and demonstrate our commitments to achieving the identified procurement savings.

This is an area of great change in the public service which presents a positive opportunity to change our procurement practices to yield savings and efficiencies for the shared benefit of the organisation, our suppliers and our citizens.

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