New Inquiry: Local Government Procurement

16 July 2013

CLG Committee calls for submissions on Local Government Procurement

Call for Evidence

CLG Committee calls for submissions on Local Government Procurement

The Committee has decided to carry out an inquiry into local government procurement and invites written submissions from interested parties. The central focus of the inquiry will be to assess the extent to which it is delivering good value for money and meeting the objectives of local authorities. The inquiry will highlight and examine good practice and initiatives within local authority procurement and elsewhere and explore how and to what extent local authorities can adopt and take advantage of them. To assist those making submissions the Committee has identified the following topics that it may cover, though the list is not exhaustive.

  1. To what extent is local government procurement organised to deliver value for money and social, economic and environmental objectives, including stimulating the local economy? To what extent are local authorities achieving the involvement of local residents in delivering value for money? To what extent are local authorities able to develop long-term relationships with contractors?
  2. Do authorities take sufficient advantage of collaborative and joint procurement opportunities, including those available from central government? In addition, the Committee would welcome information on PFI contracts and their operation with local government.
  3. How can local authorities access the skills, expertise and capabilities to implement effective procurement strategies, including value for money and social and economic objectives? More specifically, does local government have sufficient understanding of its procurement expenditure and the markets for goods and services to deliver quality procurement strategies—locally and regionally. If not, how can deficiencies be addressed?
  4. To what extent is risk in local government procurement and contracting understood and managed and contracting strategies adopted, which are tailored to product and supplier market places? More specifically, do local authorities maintain and operate effective client management functions and have they entered contractual arrangements which allow the flexibility to meet changing circumstances such as budget reductions or changes in the way a service has to be delivered?
  5. How is regularity and propriety of procurement secured and are the arrangements for detecting and addressing impropriety and fraud effective?
  6. Is local authority procurement fully transparent, audited effectively and does it provide appropriate mechanisms for redress? Specifically, are the arrangements for securing the accountability of procured services and goods to local authorities and local residents adequate and effective? More specifically, to what extent are local authorities able to provide assurance to central government that value for money (in the broadest sense of the term) is delivered?

The Committee welcomes written submissions from contractors that have tendered to local authorities—both the successful and unsuccessful—and from interested parties with knowledge of any aspect of local government procurement for goods and services in any area—from IT and office supplies to care management and building contracts—as well as collaborative procurement arrangements and from people with specialist procurement and contracting expertise. The Committee will not review individual contracts.


The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines below by midday on Friday 6 September. As a guideline submissions should be no longer than 3000 words.

Submitting written evidence

Web portal pilot

As part of a scheme to encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, the Committee is piloting a new web portal for online submissions of written evidence. Written submissions for this inquiry should therefore be sent via the Communities and Local Government website:

Written evidence submissions

Submissions should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or by making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Data protection

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing.

The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

We may also ask you to comment on the process of submitting evidence via the web portal so that we can look to make improvements. If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information or do not wish your details to be used for the purpose of collecting feedback, please advise the Committee Team at providing your full details.

Further information

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