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Swift delivery needed on Government procurement reforms

Swift delivery needed on Government procurement reforms
 
Last week saw the Cabinet Office announce plans for significant changes to the way the Government will buy common goods and services.
 
The announcement is a result of Sir Philip Greens recent Efficiency Review where he recommended that the Government should take advantage of its scale and buying power in purchasing services and goods such as stationary, IT and professional services. The announcement by Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude also flagged the Governments commitment to buy services from smaller suppliers.
 
With provision of permanent, interim and temporary staff included in the category of professional services, many REC members will be affected by this recent announcement.
 
Commenting, Gillian Econopouly, the RECs Head of Public Policy said: As many recruitment agencies are SMEs, the commitment to small businesses outlined in this recent announcement is encouraging. However, REC members have indicated that, despite the governments recent rhetoric on the importance of SMEs, avenues for supplying professional services to the public sector remain difficult to access.
 
She continued: For example, one of our flagship sector groups, the Interim Management Association (IMA), has been campaigning on SME access to procurement for many months. Following the recent withdrawal of a procurement framework on which many IMA members were included, many of them are now simply unable to supply into the public sector. It is a situation that not only adversely affects these specialist recruiters but deprives the government of talent it needs to drive the change agenda.
 
She concluded: As the public sector faces up to new challenges, we must drive home the message that good recruitment and flexible staffing remain key to delivering services more effectively. Government must deliver on promises to open up procurement to smaller recruiters, not least to avoid switching off the tap for talent at this critical moment.

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