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Paul Davis co-authors Government 10 Step Guide to Smarter Procurement

28th July 2009

Mr Paul Davis, Lecturer in Management and Chair of the MBS in Strategic Procurement at DCU Business School, has co-authored a new handbook entitled "Buying Innovation, The 10 Step Guide to SMART Procurement and SME Access to Public Contracts", which is intended for use by all public sector organisations.

Mr Paul Davis of DCUBS, pictured sixth from left, at the launch of the Government's 10 Step Guide to Smarter Procurement

The handbook was published by the Tánaiste and Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment, Ms Mary Coughlan, T.D., together with the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Dr Martin Manseragh, T.D. It coincided with her launching the Report of the Procurement Innovation Group, "Using Public Procurement to Stimulate Innovation and SME Access to Public Contracts".

The 10 Step Guide is aimed at officials in procurement activity across the procurement sector. It includes practical steps to encourage innovation in the provision of goods and services to Government.

The Tánaiste explained that the purpose of this initiative is threefold. "Firstly, the policies and recommendations of the Procurement Innovation Group are designed to stimulate innovative business activity in Ireland, while improving the purchase, delivery and efficiency of public sector goods and services. Secondly, the initiative seeks to ensure a level playing field for all innovative companies wishing to participate in public tendering. Thirdly, the initiative aims to result in greater access for SME companies to public sector contracts."

The Tánaiste said that in relation to SME access to public sector contracts that the initiative identifies a number of actions to be taken to break down barriers and facilitate improved access.

"The public sector is a particularly important market for small businesses, so improving our public procurement practices by removing obstacles and boosting the involvement of SMEs is a key priority. Increasing the levels of SMEs bidding for public contracts should also result in higher competition, leading to better value for money and efficiencies for contracting authorities".

Minister Martin Mansergh, whose Department is charged with oversight of the public procurement process, said: "Public procurement is an essential element of delivering better public services in Ireland. By fully embracing leading-edge procurement practices the Government can provide an important stimulus for investment in innovation by the wider business community. Good procurement practice will then enable the identification and procurement of those innovative solutions that provide long-term quality, value for money and sustainability".

The Tánaiste stressed, "This is a practical initiative in public sector reform that will lead to tangible benefits for our economy and the citizens served by the public service. We hope that this will be the beginning of a new era, leading to smarter procurement of innovative goods and services, better value for the taxpayer and more public sector business for smaller enterprises".

In order to build procurement capability in public sector staff, the National Public Policy Procurement Unit (NPPPU) in the Department of Finance is endorsing the MBS in Strategic Procurement provided by DCU Business School.

The NPPPU encourages public and private sector organisations to propose and support candidates involved in procurement in their organisations for inclusion in the programme. The NPPPU also encourages individuals who are interested in developing their procurement skills and capabilities to enrol in the programme.

The MBS in Strategic Procurement is the first programme of its kind in Ireland and one of only two such programmes in Europe, which builds the capacity for strategic thinking in procurement and aims to meet the changing skills requirements for professionals either engaged in or working closely with the procurement function.

The programme is offered on a part-time basis over two years, commencing in autumn, and is delivered by block release on three days per month, i.e., Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Graduates of the MBS in Strategic Procurement will be eligible to apply for full membership of The Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (IIPMM).

"Buying Innovation, The 10 Step Guide to SMART Procurement and SME Access to Public Contracts" Handbook (PDF, 354KB)

Using Public Procurement to Stimulate Innovation and SME Access to Public Contracts: Report of the Procurement Innovation Group (PDF, 295KB)

Full details of DCU's MBS in Strategic Procurement