Review of Civil Procurement in Central Government

HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, Peter Gershon
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  1. In November 1998 the Paymaster General and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office invited me to review civil procurement in Central Government in the light of the Government's objectives on efficiency, modernisation and competitiveness in the short and medium term and to report as soon as possible.

    Following Ministerial changes that took place in December 1998, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury became responsible for procurement matters.
  1. This Review was initiated following the Prime Minister's interest in the report that the Ministerial Cabinet Committee on Public Expenditure (PX) had commissioned in January 1998 and which was published in July 1998.
  1. The term 'procurement' has many different interpretations. Throughout this Review 'procurement' means the whole process of acquisition from third parties (including the logistical aspects) and covers goods, services and construction projects. This process spans the whole life cycle from initial concept and definition of business needs through to the end of the useful life of an asset or end of a services contract. Both conventionally funded and more innovative types (e.g. PFI/PPP) of funded projects are included. This definition is consistent with modern supply chain management practices and that used in the 1995 White Paper (CM 2840) Setting New Standards.

The process is not limited to the purchasing function in departments and is inherently multi-functional especially in large, complex and / or novel procurements.