DCN responds to the Government’s Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement
The DCN has responded to the government’s green paper, highlighting the significant new administrative and resource implications associated with the proposals. We argue that more consideration will be needed as government develops its thinking in greater detail to ensure the additional burdens on councils do not outweigh the desired benefits from reform.
Proposals to provide or fund additional support, advice and training are welcome, but we reject the creation of any “procurement inspectorate” with intervention powers in councils. District councils are independent, democratically elected bodies, and it is their own local priorities that should take precedence.
We also question whether there will be unintended consequences from excluding NHS procurement rules from the proposals – it cannot be simpler to have two different systems in place. This will create difficulties where councils collaborate with NHS on delivering healthcare services. There will be confusion about which set of rules to follow, undermining the argument for simplicity. This will have particular impact for councils with social care responsibilities, but may also impact on districts that are working in partnership with the NHS locally.
Date: 10th March 2021