Unity will improve digital procurement

Uniting IT procurement systems and ending “feudal” relationships will propel the reform of local government systems for buying goods and services, says a council CIO.

The demand for a coherent system for buying goods is pushing the reform of procurement of IT. Local authorities aren’t “satisfied” by the current marketplace, one where “feudal relationships” and big suppliers “dictate” what councils do and when they do it, says John Jackson, Camden Council’s CIO.

He said: “We want to open up opportunities to harness mobile apps, social media and integration platforms and not just approach this as a series of isolated silos. We want to make it simpler, faster and more efficient to cut deals, re-sign existing customers and secure income.”

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) exemplifies the move to a more centralised system, it being the outcome of Government Procurement Service (GPS) and separate departmental procurement teams merging into a single entity last month.

A CCS spokesman said: “Isolated procurement activity fragments the buying power of the public sector as a whole. Acting together through sharing information, standardising requirements and aggregating demand should secure better commercial deals sustainably.”

Related reading