The report sets out progress on the implementation of the procurement reform programme across the public service.

Key activities highlighted in the 2019 report include:

  • an ongoing programme of training and support by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to assist SMEs to participate in public procurement competitions
  • initiatives to support the delivery of the National Development Plan including a review of the Capital Works Management Framework and the establishment by the OGP of a Commercial Skills Academy
  • the provision of advice and guidance in areas including Brexit, social considerations, and green public procurement
  • the delivery of procurement solutions accessible to whole of the public service by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) including 23 new framework agreements as part of close to 1,000 competitions undertaken by the OGP during the year

The role of the Board is to oversee the implementation of procurement reform across the whole of the public sector including central Government and the four key sectors of health, education, local government and defence, and to provide advice to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Board includes representatives from across the public service as well as independent Board members. The Board is supported in its work by the Office of Government Procurement. 2019 saw significant planning as part of the whole-of-Government preparations for Brexit.

Minister Smyth said:

“The Programme for Government sets out an ambitious range of actions for public procurement for the coming years, particularly in the areas of green and social procurement and digitalisation. This report describes the actions already underway in the Office of Government Procurement and other public bodies which will contribute to the delivery on these goals.

“More recently in 2020, the Covid-19 health crisis saw a significant whole-of-Government procurement effort in meeting the needs of our frontline workers and of the public.”

Paul Quinn, Chief Procurement Officer, said:

“This report includes the annual report on the activities of the Office of Government Procurement. A major focus of our work in 2019 has been support for the professionalisation of the practice of public procurement. A significant initiative in this area was the development of a pilot training programme from a new Commercial Skills Academy, which will provide practical support to public servants delivering some of the State’s major construction projects, including those that are part of the National Development Plan.”

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

The Procurement Reform Board (the Interim Public Sector Procurement Reform Board) was established by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in 2018. It is chaired by Maurice Quinn, former Secretary General of the Department of Defence and includes representatives from across the public sector, including the Chief Procurement Officer as well as external members appointed by the Minister. The Board is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the public procurement reform programme and advising the Government on national public procurement strategy.

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) was established by the government to integrate procurement policy, strategy and operations into a centralised office with the aim of reducing procurement risk and enabling savings for public service bodies (PSBs) across the State. The OGP is headed by the government’s Chief Procurement Officer, and operates as an office of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.