08 June 2017

Government procurement professionals have to be strategic, not just transactional

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There can be no doubt that 2017 is a tough and challenging year for the public sector. This means challenges and hopefully opportunities for procurement professionals across the public sector. There is less money with further and deeper cuts to expenditure and services. Over the last decade public sector procurement professionals have been asked or perhaps on many occasions told to respond to financial pressures. In many cases they have responded well; but sadly too often this has not been the case. The pressures and expectations on this cadre of public servants will increase in 2017 and beyond. It could be the year when public procurement professionals demonstrate their great value to their organisations and to the public. It won’t be easy but it is necessary.

The most important response that public sector procurement officials should make is to act professionally. This means being ready to challenge flawed policy and executive proposals and decisions; and wherever possible to offer alternative options for achieving the desired goals. There will often be a need to demonstrate the long-term dis-benefits of what may seem like good short-term expediency – be it buying cheap and poorly made goods, procuring poor quality, etc. – when this will lead to poorer procurement outcomes, or outsourcing when this could lead to poorer service quality, reduced employment conditions and in the long term higher costs. Public procurement professionals have to be strategic, not just transactional.

The Australian Government Procurement Week being held at the Grace Hotel Sydney from 26 – 28 July 2017 will help procurement professionals to improve current public sector procurement operations and processes in order to maximise value for money outcomes. The 4 streams at the Summit will specifically focus on establishing stronger supplier partnerships to improve purchasing outcomes, designing more cost efficient contract and procurement frameworks, driving innovation and sustainability within public sector procurement operations and improving ICT sourcing and procurement strategies.

Written by: Nicolas Verbeeck

Nicolas was born in Belgium and became an expert in consuming excellent beers, chocolate and waffles. During the winter period you can find him on a hockey pitch and in summer he loves to go for a swim or a surf. In 2013 Nicolas was wondering what the beers, chocolate and waffles would taste like in Australia and never came back. One reason… the weather. Nicolas obtained a masters in International Politics and tries to use this background to produce excellent conferences at Akolade.

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