The 'Lean Procurement' Initiative


The Cabinet Office is considering a number of ways of improving competitive dialogue procedures, focussing particularly on supply chain management and efficient procurement processes. Whilst the outcomes of the review will not be mandated in Scotland, many of the proposals may still be of benefit for Scottish authorities carrying out competitive dialogue procedures including:

the standardised 'Decision Tool' being put in place to help decide whether CD is required at all;
a much greater emphasis on pre-procurement processes to include: indicating a clear pipeline of work in advance; engaging early with suppliers to help inform those designing the procurement; ensuring that the procurement is thoroughly planned and specified before the OJEU notice; and ensuring that the correct team is in place from the start;
limiting the number of bidders participating in dialogue through an initial presentation of outline solutions by shortlisted bidders, followed by a down-selection, before any dialogue takes place; and
an intensive dialogue phase with bidders and the contracting authority's team all congregating for an intensive 2 - 3 week period, rather than meetings taking place over a number of months.

The aim of the review is to reduce the overall duration of a CD procedure from the current average of over 400 days, to just 120 days (note that the European Commission found that the average time taken to award a contract using CD was around 245 days).