The full report is HERE and the recommendations are below
Welsh Government procurement policy should be consolidated into a single ‘Policy and Practices Document’ which would be available as a handbook for leaders, executives and procurement professionals to use as a blueprint for their conduct of all public procurement.
Given that further progress is heavily dependent upon practical implementation, rather than on new policy, implementation of public procurement policy should be regarded as a duty rather than an option. In the short term, this duty should be made mandatory through its inclusion as a condition of grant for all public sector funding provided to organisations by the Welsh Government.
It is also recommended that the Welsh Government strongly consider introducing legislation in the medium term that would make the duty to adopt and implement policy a legal requirement, as well as a condition of grant.
The Welsh Government should formally adopt the content and recommendations of the Buying Smarter in Tougher Times Report into Welsh public procurement policy thus making its acceptance and implementation mandatory.
To correct any misconception over targets, the Welsh Government should confirm that it expects delivery of a balanced set of wider benefits.
t should also be a duty to ensure that the function of procurement within every public sector body is staffed with skilled procurement resource to a level that is adequate to support the public body’s obligations for governance, and delivery of the Welsh Government’s policies and required practices. This should include appropriate recognition of the value and positioning of procurement within organisational structures.
Local Government should take urgent steps to address its skills deficit and in particular the serious shortfalls in resources at some authorities.
Given that staffing at the Welsh Government Corporate Procurement Services unit seems inadequate, the Welsh Government should examine patterns and granularity of
Spending covered by the service to establish where it should be benchmarked for resources given the unique nature of activities.
The Welsh Government should sponsor the reintroduction of regular ‘procurement capability assessments’.
Given the scale of the skills deficit the Home Grown Talent programme should be expanded to provide a greater number of trainees
The Welsh Government should commission a full and formal survey of procurement resources and professional skill levels in the public sector.
The mandatory duty for all funded bodies to adopt Welsh Government procurement policy should include delivering the wider benefits of economic, social and environmental impacts.
All bodies in Wales funded by the Welsh Government should be required to include in their annual reports a statement describing how they have delivered on the policy of wider benefits, and should show and comment on the value and % proportion of their total procurement expenditure that has been spent in Wales and also with SMEs.
The concept of directly linking economic development, and specifically supplier support and development, to public procurement should be vigorously pursued.
The lead role and strategic responsibility of the Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Division in this area should be underlined in a formal communication to the public sector in Wales. New mechanisms to work directly with procurement operations across Wales should be developed and should require the appropriate participation of individual and collaborative procurement units.
The budget for investment in supplier support and development should be reviewed and increased to provide wider and more in depth coverage of the priorities described above.
If funding cannot be augmented then the available resources and finances should be concentrated on priority areas that will provide the greatest and potentially quickest return. Given the value of spend and its relevance to the economy the construction sector should be considered as a prime candidate for this concentrated approach.
The Welsh Government should identify the factors that contribute to a higher proportion of spending with SMEs, and require plans from the lower performing organisations to bring them to that level.
Interaction with the third sector should be reviewed with a view to fully understanding its concerns about public procurement and the contribution it can make to wider benefits.
Ways should be found to enable practical engagement with the public sector in
designing services to support defined outcomes.
The recommendations of the ‘Barriers to Procurement Opportunity’ research should be implemented as soon as possible and in particular overall implementation of the SQuID tool should be a priority.
A specific standalone programme for the construction sector should be initiated immediately so that those with highest expectations of SQuID can experience early progress.
A replacement IT solution for Sell2Wales should be introduced at an early date.
Within the operating model local procurement is not conducted consistently well and especially within Local Government. I recommend that all organisations address this at an early date including correcting contributing weaknesses in staffing.
To substantially improve the collaborative coverage and the effectiveness of the operating model, I recommend that the Welsh Government sponsor and provide funding support to establish a new national procurement service to address the national, common and repetitive categories of spending. This proposal is described in detail in section 6 of the full report
Given the low proportion of Local Government spending that is conducted against collaborative contracts, I recommend that the Local Government sector a) invests substantially more in existing consortia to increase the collaborative coverage of unique Local Government sector categories, and b) participates actively in a new national procurement service.
Given the level of collaborative spending by the Welsh Government and its Sponsored Bodies, I recommend that the spending of Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies come under the remit of its Corporate Procurement Service, so that one professional procurement unit can provide the WGSBs and the Welsh Government departments with unified support, including access to, and use of, collaborative contracts from all sources.
The system of governance should be “tuned” to ensure that it is effective in having clear line of sight responsibility and accountability vertically down and horizontally across the layers of procurement activity. I recommend that the membership of the Procurement Board is reviewed to ensure that there is 100% representation of all procurement operations in the public sector and, that within this review the Chairs of the two Local
Government purchasing consortia in Wales be appointed to the Procurement Board.
The model of governance should be used even more effectively to drive progress by examining and measuring performance. I recommend that the Measurement Framework contain a relatively small number of data driven performance indicators addressing
the critical success factors for procurement and this “dashboard” format be adopted by every organisation in the Welsh public sector.
Summaries of these key performance indicators and adoption and implementation of Value Wales programmes and tools, should be reviewed sector by sector or consortium by consortium at the Procurement Board.
During this review I observed a deficit of essential data and also problems in transforming available data into management information. I recommend that the Welsh Government considers making an appropriate investment in this capability.
Implementation of the programmes and tools that support Welsh Government policy should also be mandatory and use of the Sell2Wales advertising channel for all OJEU and Sub-OJEU contracts but above local thresholds, should be the focus of early action.
Although the xchangewales service has been extremely effective in its delivery of e-procurement, new investment is required. This should only be made if organisations across the public sector commit to using the service.
The imperative of overseeing, examining and intervening across the public sector to drive implementation of policy and the adoption of required practices should become a core part of Value Wales’ activities. The allocation and prioritisation of resources, communication of the authority vested in it and its position within the sector should be consistent with this realignment.
The mission and structure of Value Wales should be reviewed for assurance that its current responsibility for providing operational services to the Welsh Government and the wider public sector is consistent with the intense and independent focus required on
policy adoption and implementation