Quarkside

08/01/2011

PASC 7: Procurement = Parson’s Egg

The seventh of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) 12 questions, asks:

7. How well do current procurement policies and practices work?

The evidence is mixed. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. Most local authority projects work to budget and many are delivered on time. The headline problem is the failure of big projects. There’s an adequate OGC Gateway process. It just isn’t followed, or improperly understood. If private sector projects are aware of a great risk of failure, they will often cancel projects on behalf of the shareholders.

Good programme management, and all that it entails, is the missing ingredient. The best programmes integrate the work of clients and suppliers in a working partnership. They have common goals and clear leadership. There is clarity of governance and accountability.

Complete outsourcing is a recipe for rip-offs. The client must have matching skills or employ an independent programme management consultant.

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