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National Procurement Service

National Procurement Service

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In 2010, the Efficiency and Innovation Board was set up to explore how the public sector can improve services against a backdrop of reduced budgets.

The Board agreed that it needed an accurate overview of procurement in the public sector, and it wanted options for creating greater efficiencies and savings.

It established a separate Procurement Board which commissioned a taskforce to carry out a review and generate ideas and concepts for the Board to consider. The report ‘Buying Smarter in Tougher Times’ outlined the conclusions and recommendations.

One of the recommendations that emerged from this report was the potential for the development of a National Procurement Service which would be responsible for ensuring common and repetitive commodities were only procured once for Wales.

In May 2011, the Efficiency and Innovation Board was replaced by the Public Service Leadership Group (PSLG) with a focus on national leadership for public service reform and collaboration, and a goal of driving the pace of improvement in public services of Wales.

The National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales was announced by the Ministers on 12 March 2013. Its remit is to secure in the region of £1bn worth of goods and services in common and repetitive spend. This represents 20% - 30% of the Welsh public sector spend.

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Public sector organisations throughout Wales have been invited to sign up to the National Procurement Service. The offer is that the NPS will be able to provide the best deals on common and repetitive spend in return for commitment from public sector organisations to buy through its contracts and frameworks.

All local authorities, the NHS, all Welsh higher and further education institutions, the 4 police services in Wales, the 3 fire services in Wales, 9 Welsh Government sponsored bodies, the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales have all agreed to buy goods and services that are within the remit of the NPS.

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Efficiency through collaboration is one of the driving principles of the NPS.

There are good examples of collaboration in public sector procurement across Wales already, but this has tended to focus on what is bought rather than how it is bought.

The strategies employed need to move beyond only leveraging scale to fully exploit the full potential benefit. This aligns with the fundamental principles of category management.

The work of the National Procurement Service is split into 6 categories:

  • ICT
  • Professional services
  • Corporate and business support services
  • Construction and facilities management
  • People services and utilities
  • Fleet and transport.

Organising the resources of our procurement teams using a category management approach allows us to fully leverage purchasing decisions by focussing on the needs of the breadth of our customer organisations and external supply markets.

It is a strategic approach that focuses on the vast majority of organisational spend. If applied effectively the results can be significantly greater than traditional transactional based purchasing negotiations.

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  • Construction and Facilities Management Construction and Facilities Management
  • Corporate and Business Support Services Corporate and Business Support Services
  • Fleet and Transport Fleet and Transport
  • Information & Communications Technology Information & Communications Technology
  • People Services and Utilities People Services and Utilities
  • Professional services Professional Services
  • View our procurement categories


Related links

Our 6 procurement categories in the NPS.
Current and future contracts and frameworks.