CIPS Australia: Seven Challenges Facing The Public Sector Procurement Community - CIPS Documents
CIPSA hosted the second of its Public Sector Procurement Forum events in Canberra during May 2007. The Forum provided a venue for a strategic conversation amongst some of the leading government procurement practitioners in Australia. This conversation quickly focused on the challenges facing government procurement and, by its end, the conversation had identified and discussed seven key challenges for public procurement professionals. 1. The setting of clear objectives at the outset of all projects and for all strategic procurement units. 2. Development of a procurement strategy for every public sector organisation. 3. Focussing strategic procurement on outcomes not processes. 4. Embracing collaboration as a strategic tool. 5. Recognising that sustainability has become a strategic driver for professional procurement. 6. Positioning the public sector as a customer of choice. 7. Resolving the talent scarcity problem. Meeting these challenges will enable procurement to take its place as strategic management function within public sector agencies.
1. The setting of clear objectives at the outset of all projects and for all strategic procurement units. The establishment of clear objectives at the outset of any procurement project is a prerequisite for success. The strategic conversation at the Forum suggested that some procurement professionals are still being thrust headlong into procurement processes that are very well advanced but for which clear definitions of project success have still to be set and agreed with stakeholders. Yet, other delegates reminded us that there has also been a significant amount if progress in many organisations. Their strategic procurement leaders are now seeking to change a different mindset. They are now working to influence key stakeholders so that clear objectives for the procurement function are set and those objectives cascade into and drive the objectives for each procurement. The challenge for procurement professionals is twofold. Those who are still being thrust into procurement processes initiated by others, need to work with their clients so that procurement is involved up-front and can ensure project objectives are set. Those who have achieved this need to continue to work with their stakeholders to ensure agency-wide procurement objectives exist and cascade down into all projects.