In 2015-16, public bodies in Wales spent around £6 billion through procurement on a range of goods, services and works but need to improve their performance to ensure value for money. In a changing landscape, public bodies face challenges in balancing potentially competing procurement priorities, responding to new policy, legislation and technology, and in the recruitment and retention of key personnel.
The Welsh Government’s 2015 policy statement sets out the overriding principles for public procurement, in the context of relevant EU and UK procurement legislation. However, our report has found that national governance arrangements could be strengthened, with the national procurement board currently having limited effectiveness.
Of the £6 billion spent through procurement in 2015-16, £880 million was through collaborative procurement managed by the three main Wales-based consortia and public buying organisations. While these organisations are reporting financial savings and other benefits, public bodies have mixed views on their effectiveness.
The Public Accounts Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into this issue in Spring 2018.
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First published: 17/10/2017