Local government procurement strategy

We will publish a procurement strategy. The strategy will highlight the areas where, if councils decide, they can achieve the greatest savings. The strategy will develop the business case for the next generation of procurement initiatives and whether these should be developed at the local, sub-national and national levels.

National Procurement Strategy - Future Direction

To oversee the delivery of the strategy we have formed two groups:

The National Advisory Group for Local Government Procurement (NAG4LGP)

This is a national group of senior procurement officer leads who advise on and support the development of local government procurement. They have links to the RIEP legacies, regional procurement lead groups, Pro 5 and Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO).

Chief Executive Sponsor Group:

This is led by Andrew Smith the Chief Executive of Hampshire County Council – their role will be to champion procurement issues, develop a voice for the sector in discussions with central government, and act as the focus for the development and implementation of the strategy.

Local Government Collaborative Commissioning Group (LGCCG)

We are also supporting the work of the, a collaborative group working on the social services category of local government spend. They previously worked on professional services and drove out savings across the sector of £100 million. This group is for public sector people to disseminate and collect good practice on this issue, more details are available in the Collaborative Commissioning Group on the Knowledge Hub:

Collaborative Commissioning Group on the Knowledge Hub

We wil work to ensure that members are suitably skilled and equipped to direct purchasing decisions in their locality through the provision of a range of training, briefings and tools.

A councillor's guide to procurement (PDF, 40 pages, 434 KB)

How we are helping councils

In December 2011 we launched a Procurement Pilots Initiative. The LGA identified resources to award to projects run by councils that take forward 'Big Wins' in category management. We wanted to see applications from councils to provide innovative solutions and efficiencies around the areas of major spend. Applications were made by January 2012 and the awards have now been made.

Procurement pilot initiatives (PDF, 5 pages, 85KB)Read about the awards

There are many EU Regulations stating how councils should buy goods and services. Innovative councils are finding ways to use these rules to bring real financial benefits to their area. Our report, 'Buying into Communities' provides examples of councils who have managed to utilise the complex procurement rules to their advantage, maximising the benefit from every taxpayer pound spent.

Buying in to Communities (PDF, 48 pages, 1.08 MB large file) – read the report and the case studies

Social value

The Social Value Act (2012) brings a statutory requirement for public authorities to pay regard to economic, social and environmental well being with public service contracts. Here we provide information on the requirements, measurement of social value and impact and measuring outcomes.

Social value publications - signposting note (PDF, 4 pages, 26 KB)

Social Value,  Cabinet Office, Procurement Policy Note – advice for commissioners and procurers (PDF, 10 pages, 182 KB)

The productivity programme has considered the scope for a programme of work that would aim to showcase evidence of financial savings councils have delivered as a result applying a ‘social value' approach to their procurement processes. We are aware of the work councils have been doing to develop a SROI as well as the many examples of benefits already delivered.

However, through the contacts we have made with councils, key stakeholders and representative bodies and given the act has only recently come into force (January 2013,) we have not yet been able to find any examples of savings generated as a result of applying a Social Value approach. Therefore this work has been postponed and may be resumed when it can be most helpful to the sector.  If you are aware of any examples or are working on such an approach then please let us know.

If you have any further enquiries around this work please contact the productivity team

Good practice examples

With more than £62 billion spent by local government on the procurement of goods and services even a small saving will deliver big results.

Joining a procurement hub can save councils significant sums. The West Midlands Procurement Hub offers a wide range of 'best deals' and is saving its members over £1 million each month. Using category management, grouping together related products and services, will deliver savings. The public sector services expect it to deliver £20 million each year.

Join a procurement hub – read the case study

An e-auction, an electronic reverse tender in which potential suppliers compete online in real time to win a tender, often delivers 15 to 30 per cent savings. Standardising goods and services can significantly reduce costs.

Use e-auctions for appropriate services– read the case study


Get involved

Share your opinions and discuss the hot topics for delivering better for less through procurement on the Productivity Efficiency Exchange.

The Productivity and Efficiency Exchange Knowledge Hub Group(new users will need to register)

Contact us

To find out more about our offer to councils email us at

Additional information

Quick Wins Strategy (PDF, 15 pages, 574 KB)

Big Wins Strategy (PDF, 20 pages, 1MB)

National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA)

15 November 2013

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