Background to the Office of Government Procurement

A key element of the Public Service Reform agenda is to reduce costs and achieve better value for money through reform of public procurement.

In 2012, the Government commissioned an external report (“Capacity and Capability Review of the Centralised Procurement Function”) to identify actions required to realised substantial savings in public procurement in the short and medium term. One of the key outcomes of the report was the decision by Government to establish the Office of Government Procurement (“OGP”).

The OGP, which operates as an office of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is headed by the Government Chief Procurement Officer, Mr. Paul Quinn, to lead on the Public Procurement Reform Programme by:

  • Integrating procurement policy, strategy and operations in one office;
  • Strengthening spend analytics and data management;
  • Securing sustainable savings.

Operating Model

The OGP commenced sourcing operations in 2014 and, together with four key sectors (Health, Local Government, Education and Defence), has responsibility for sourcing all goods and services on behalf of the public service.

The OGP and its sector partners are putting in place framework agreements and contracts through which public sector bodies can buy goods and services. As the State buys a wide range of goods and services, the sourcing model is broken down into 16 categories of expenditure. The 8 categories of common goods and services are procured by the OGP. Four sectors – Health, Education, Local Government and Defence – retain sector sourcing functions to procure the remaining categories that they are the main users of, on behalf of the State.

The OGP Sourcing organisation is broken down into a number of portfolios, each dedicated to different categories of spend. The sourcing portfolios are: Information and Communications Technology (ICT); Facilities Management; Utilities, Fleet and Plant, Marketing, Print & Stationery; Travel, HR and Managed Services; Professional Services; and Spot Buying.

The OGP has established a dedicated Customer Service Team to provide a high quality professional service to the OGP’s public service clients and to suppliers. The Team, which includes Key Account Managers and Helpdesk Agents, provides proactive and reactive information, assistance and support to the OGP customers.

The OGP also has responsibility for procurement policy and procedures, sourcing systems and data analytics.

Our Public Sector Clients

The OGP is here to meet the public sector’s sourcing needs, by putting in place quality solutions that deliver value for money. We realise that different clients have different needs and so we keep our frameworks and contracts as flexible – and as easy to use – as possible to take account of those needs.

OGP Frameworks reduce the time and cost associated with procurement by offering facilities that have already been competitively and compliantly tendered.

By using our arrangements, our public sector clients can be confident that they are meeting their compliance obligations, while at the same time reducing their administrative burden.

Suppliers

The OGP takes a balanced approach to delivering value for the taxpayer and and supports SME access to public procurement including by:

  • Undertaking market analysis prior to tendering in order to better understand the range of goods and services on offer; market developments and innovation; what commercial models are available; the competitive landscape; and the specific capabilities of SMEs etc.
  • Setting proportionate eligibility requirements, for example insurance and turnover, to support SME participation
  • Breaking tendering competitions into smaller lots (for example, by sector, region, value etc.) where possible,to actively encourage SME participation and to align with the capacity and capability of the marketplace
  • Actively engaging in a range of events to help foster awareness of and to encourage engagement in the public procurement process
  • Supporting supplier awareness of eTenders, the national tendering platform (etenders.gov.ie)

By ensuring our processes are open, transparent and fair, the OGP delivers quality sourcing solutions in accordance with EU and Irish laws.

Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015

The Designated Public Officials in the OGP, for the purposes of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, 2015 can be found here.