The programme for public procurement reform commenced in 2013 as part of the overall public sector reform programme. A new public procurement model was established that resulted in a shift to a new more-centralised model of procurement for government's goods and services spend. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) commenced operations in 2014 and, since then, has made significant progress in driving value-for-money, enabling compliance, promoting business participation, increasing communication and guidance, professionalising the service and promoting transparency. Results from an independent survey of Government Departments and public bodies in 2018 recorded a high level of satisfaction with the services of the OGP.
Earlier this year, I wrote to Government Ministers asking for their views on the implementation of the procurement reform programme, in relation to good governance and compliance, and for their recommendations to refine the reform programme, based on the lessons learned to date. This review is in line with the commitments in the Programme for Government and the Ministers and Secretaries Act.
Views of Government Ministers and their Departments, including bodies under the aegis, were sought on:
- Progress on the implementation of the procurement reform programme
- The experience of using central procurement arrangements put in place by the OGP and the Local Government, Defence, Health and Education sectors (framework agreements)
- Whether the central arrangements are meeting the Department’s procurement requirements
- The steps taken to promote good governance in relation to public procurement and eliminate bad practices
- Suggestions for improving and refining the public procurement model.
This review has also involved consultation with opposition spokespersons on procurement and members of the SME Advisory Group including industry representative bodies. Responses are now being considered.
A full list of all the OGP Frameworks currently in place is available on the OGP website https://ogp.gov.ie/schedule-of-frameworks-and-contracts/.