Sunday 31 January 2016

Brent Council to share procurement with Harrow and Buckinghamshire

A proposal is being put to Brent Cabinet to share procurement of services with the London Borough of Harrow and Buckinghamshire County Council.

Harrow will be the lead borough and in the first phase Brent staff will transfer to them. The report is pretty opaque but it looks likely there will redundancies in the second phase. Brent argues that the proposals will enable them to cut the procurement budget by £272,000 in 2016-17.

The proposal aims to 'deliver in five key areas':
·      contribute to the Council’s savings target, in particular enabling the delivery of savings to the procurement service;
·      enable the Council to take a strategic view of procurement activity
·      provide new approaches to the delivery of Social Value benefits in Brent contracts
·      enable the potential generation of additional income by selling procurement services, as opportunities to do this currently have been limited due to the size of the current team;
·      ensure that there is resilience built into Procurement activities; and
·      maximise the opportunities for collaboration.

Creating a Procurement Shared Service (PSS) from the three councils will help assuage cuts to budgets and bring together best practice, knowledge, skills and resources. LB Brent has a savings target of £272k in 2016/17 and without a form of transformation LB Brent will only be able to provide a largely transactional procurement service. By joining this initiative LB Brent will be in a good position to deliver the savings target whilst also guaranteeing a level of resilience in its procurement activities. 

By becoming one of the founder organisations LB Brent will avoid having to reduce the current procurement service from a team of 11 to a team of 6, with 5 staff being forced to take redundancy. This reduction would mean that LB Brent’s ability to provide procurement services would be significantly impacted. However by entering into the Shared Service arrangement, the impact of the reductions will be mitigated allowing LB Brent to continue to receive a good level of procurement support
The second paragraph is particular is confusing. After several readings I think it means  that Brent itself won't have to make people redundant but redundancies will happen in the new shared service - but I am open to corrections or alternative explanations.

The proposal has further consequences in terms of Brent residents' ability to lobby over ethical procurement (eg Veolia). Councilsability to make decisions based on ethical standards is already under attack from the Conservative government.  It is also unclear what powers Brent councillors will have in the new situation.

Details HERE


Anonymous said...

Brocurement? Is that for the brocialists?

Anonymous said...

Brocially is good for you.

Martin Francis said...

I have messed up your jokes now I have corrected the headline. Sorry.