Murphy restructures Procurement Board

Date published: 01 December 2020

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced changes to the Procurement Board as part of efforts to ensure the £3bn spent on public procurement annually is fully maximised.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy standing in the NI Assembly Chamber.

Speaking in the Assembly, Conor Murphy said: “Procurement expenditure accounts for some £3bn annually, representing a quarter of the Executive’s budget. This makes the Executive a hugely significant buyer of goods, services, and construction work. In order to fully realise this spending potential I am reconstituting the Procurement board, which develops the Executive’s Procurement Policy.

“It’s important that Procurement Policy benefits from the expertise and insight of the sectors that tender for and deliver contracts on behalf of the public sector. The restructured Board will include procurement practitioners involved in the design and management of procurement exercises. I am also appointing five new representatives from key sectors of the economy including construction, manufacturing, social enterprise and SMEs.

“These individuals will engage with their respective sectors in order to bring their views, experiences and fresh thinking to this important area of policy.

“I would like to thank the outgoing members of the Procurement Board for their work and their commitment over the last four years in helping to deliver effective procurement policies.”

Procurement Guidance Notes in future will go the Executive for approval. Outlining how this will elevate procurement policy, the Minister continued: “The Executive has agreed that Procurement Policy will carry the authority of Government Ministers who are accountable to the public and are responsible for ensuring public expenditure provides value for money. 

“Among the first items I will be asking the new Board to explore are Security of Supply and Social Value. A stronger focus on security of supply will benefit local businesses and help increase employment levels while factoring social value into contracts can contribute to social good.”

The Minister concluded: “The new structure of the Procurement Board will allow for Procurement Policy to be co-designed by those that design and deliver government contracts. I look forward to Chairing the first meeting on 16th December and to working with the members to enhance public procurement for the benefit of those we serve.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Procurement Board has responsibility for the development, dissemination and co-ordination of public procurement policy and practice for the public sector. The Board is responsible to the Executive and accountable to the Assembly.

2.    The new members appointed to the Procurement Board are:

  • Construction: Mark Spence, Construction Employers Federation and Denise McMahon, Construction Professionals Council
  • Manufacturing: Mary Meehan, Manufacturing NI
  • SMEs: Ian McClelland, SME Forum
  • Social Enterprise: Colin Jess, Social Enterprise NI
  • Chief Executive CPD: Des Armstrong
  • Health and Social Care Sector: Peter Wilson
  • Major Projects and Procurement DfI: John Irvine
  • DoF Commercial Director: Sharon Smyth
  • Strategic Investment Board: Brett Hannam

3.    Members of the Procurement Board do not get paid for this role. 

4.    A copy of the Minister’s Written Ministerial Statement can be viewed at: https://www.finance-ni.gov.uk/publications/minister-finance-oral-statement-northern-ireland-assembly-procurement-board

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