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Transformation capabilities: Procurement and Commissioning

The ability to plan for, procure and manage contracts for the delivery of goods and/or services, and to use data insights to shape markets where needed.

What is procurement and commissioning? 

The ability to plan for, procure and manage contracts for the delivery of goods and/or services, and to use data insights to shape markets where needed.  

In the context of transformation, it involves understanding business needs and spend, understanding supply, demand, and sufficiency; the development of specifications, engaging the market and managing the performance of suppliers and contracts to drive the right strategic outcomes.    

Why is it needed? 

Council transformation activities rely on contract and commissioning capabilities in two ways: 

  1. To procure goods and services to support the delivery of transformation activities. 
  2. As part of transformation, to consider how services might be procured and managed more effectively and efficiently, ensuring sufficiency, and shaping the market where needed. 

What capabilities does it need? 

To deliver procurement and commissioning, councils need to be able to: 

  • understand demand – needs and current spend 
  • understand supply – analyse and manage the market  
  • develop specifications  
  • engage the market  
  • evaluate tenders 
  • define and manage contracts.  

Each capability is defined in more detail in the sections that follow. 

Capabilities have been defined to be read both in isolation (i.e. If you need to know only about a certain aspect of procurement and commissioning), or in combination (to understand procurement and commissioning in the round).  

For this reason, there is a necessary overlap between some of the capabilities. 

Related roles  

There are multiple roles within local government that deliver elements of procurement and commissioning. Some roles are full time, and some are part of wider roles within service areas.  

  • Procurement Analyst  
  • Procurement / Category Officer  
  • Procurement / Category Manager  
  • Project Manager  
  • Programme Manager  
  • Head of Procurement  
  • Commissioning Manager 
  • Budget holder. 

Essential enablers 

Other than having the right capabilities in place, there are several essential enablers that also need to be in place for procurement and commissioning to have maximum positive impact.

Procurement and Commissioning – maturity index 

A related procurement and commissioning maturity index has been created to enable councils to understand their current maturity and to set, and work towards, a target state. This can be downloaded below.


The following resources have been suggested by councils as references or tools that they have found useful in relation to procurement and commissioning. The LGA is not able to endorse any particular resources or any individual supplier.