6 Procurement Leadership
Whilst central day-to-day management of public procurement on a Scotland-wide basis is inappropriate it is my opinion that strong leadership of the "functional" activity of professional procurement can provide benefits across the wide span of organisations in the Public Sector.
Although the Scottish Executive's Procurement Directorate has since devolution offered central leadership, this has often been driven by developing and adopting initiatives rather than by executing a formally assigned responsibility and authority. There have been a series of policy documents, workshops and meetings, a Purchase to Pay Project and of course the introduction and implementation of ePS has demanded and benefited from central leadership and effort. This absence of formally assigned authority and responsibility also impacts upon availability of a central and consolidated programme of reports.
The leadership question should be resolved by formally assigning the overall procurement leadership role within the public sector in Scotland to the Scottish Procurement Directorate. With this the establishment and deployment of mandatory procurement policy for the whole public sector should be the unique responsibility of the SPD (see recommendation 7.1).
The procurement leadership role should extend to those activities associated with functional excellence including staff communications, education and training, staff development, career paths, job gradings, salary scales and where appropriate workload balancing. (See recommendation 8.7.)
The SPD organisation as part of its new central leadership role should define and agree a system of reporting Scottish Public Sector procurement results and information including progress towards previously agreed and published cost-savings targets.