The LGA's wide ranging remit includes procurement policy guidance, best practice and training, led by its National Advisory Group (NAG) for local government procurement. It has promoted the role of strategic procurement in reshaping and transforming service delivery, as well as ensuring value for money and making a positive impact on local, regional and national businesses and jobs.
For LGA members, reduced budgets, high user expectations and demand issues are well rehearsed and there is a growing recognition of the role of procurement in encouraging innovative responses to meet these challenges. Since 2000, there have been new policy instruments and innovation project funding from the EU and the UK. The Small Business Research Initiative, run by Innovate UK, is recognised as one of the leading programmes. The 2014 reforms of EU procurement rules, transposed in the UK into the public contract regulations 2015, include new elements that encourage procurers and commissioners to promote more innovative approaches.
In this environment, NAG agreed, at the beginning of 2016, to establish a working group to make recommendations on the policies and practices that local government could follow to encourage innovative procurement. The review would cover goods and services, and also examine the innovative aspects of integrating social value into procurement.
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