In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, public sector bodies have had to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency. The Cabinet Office, which oversees government’s buying policies, has changed some of the procurement rules for contracts relating to the government’s response to COVID-19. Concerns have been raised about some of these procurements, including around a lack of transparency. In our previous report Overview of the UK … Read more
Commercial capability and contract management
Central government manages contracts with the private and third sector worth about £40 billion annually. Such contracts include providing services to citizens, military equipment, back office functions, custodial services, temporary workers and consultancy.
Poor management of commercial relationships has been a major cause of failures to achieve value for money in government projects and operations. To address this, government is currently reforming its commercial profession, including centralising the purchase of common goods and services, improving departments' capability and increasing its understanding of its key suppliers. In doing so it could benefit from our work identifying good practice in five key areas: government’s commercial capability, including governance, systems, information and people capability; market management including ways to encourage innovation and avoid over-dependence on too few suppliers; effective procurement approaches; good contract management; and ensuring government suppliers are transparent and accountable.
Key NAO publications:
- A Short Guide to Commercial relationships (Dec 2017)
- Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice (Nov 2016)
- Transforming government's contract management (Sep 2014)
- The role of major contractors in the delivery of public services (Nov 2013)
- Managing government suppliers (Nov 2013)
This report examines the MoD’s management of the programme since 2017 and the risks towards achieving Carrier Strike’s full capabilities.
26 Jun 2020
This report provides information on managing PFI contracts when they end and considers whether government is preparing for expiry appropriately.
5 Jun 2020
This report examines whether DfT
and HS2 Ltd have protected value for money so far in their stewardship of HS2.
24 Jan 2020
Carillion going into liquidation left two new hospitals unfinished. The projects will now be completed with public finance.
17 Jan 2020
This report examines the Ministry of Defence’s management of its large and complex infrastructure projects at nuclear-regulated sites.
10 Jan 2020
This memorandum focuses on the design, operation and oversight of the Home Office’s contract with G4S to run Brook House.
22 Jul 2019
Using ten case studies from our work over the last 18 months, this overview identifies the main things that government departments need to look out for as they develop commercial relationships with their suppliers.
7 Dec 2018
On 15 January 2018, Carillion declared insolvency and the Official Receiver, an employee of the Insolvency Service, started to liquidate its assets and contracts. This report focuses on the role of the UK government in preparing for and managing the liquidation of Carillion.
7 Jun 2018
In this report, we assess whether NHS England managed the PCSE contract with Capita effectively to secure the intended benefits
17 May 2018