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Public Procurement


The Auditor General for Wales published a report on Public Procurement in Wales (PDF 2MB) in October 2017 and a further report on the National Procurement Service (PDF 949KB) in November 2017.

In 2015-16, public bodies in Wales spent around £6 billion through procurement on a range of goods, services and works but need to improve their performance to ensure value for money. In a changing landscape, public bodies face challenges in balancing potentially competing procurement priorities, responding to new policy, legislation and technology, and in the recruitment and retention of key personnel.

The Welsh Government’s 2015 policy statement sets out the overriding principles for public procurement, in the context of relevant EU and UK procurement legislation. However, the report has found that national governance arrangements could be strengthened, with the national procurement board currently having limited effectiveness.

Of the £6 billion spent through procurement in 2015-16, £880 million was through collaborative procurement managed by the three main Wales-based consortia and public buying organisations. While these organisations are reporting financial savings and other benefits, public bodies have mixed views on their effectiveness. 

The Public Accounts Committee undertook an inquiry into this issue in spring 2018. During the evidence session with the Welsh Government, it transpired that a number of the Committee’s concerns will be addressed in the review being undertaken by the Welsh Government. The Committee wrote to the Welsh Government in March 2018 advising that it would be premature for the Committee to draw conclusions at this stage and have agreed to return to this issue upon  completion of the review. This was completed in autumn 2018 and the Committee held an evidence session in February 2019 to reflect on the review’s outcomes with the Welsh Government.

The Committee wrote to the Welsh Government following the evidence session with its observations and requested six-monthly written updates on the transition of the NPS to a smaller national contracting unit and the establishment of a policy development and delivery unit.

Evidence Session

Date, Agenda and Minutes




Liz Lucas –Caerphilly County Borough Council

Steve Robinson - Cardiff Council

Monday 5 February 2018

Read transcript of Evidence Session 1

Watch Evidence Session 1 on Senedd TV


Mike Halstead –Conwy County Borough Council

Arwel Staples –Denbighshire County Council

Monday 5 February 2018

Read transcript of Evidence Session 2

Watch Evidence Session 2 on Senedd TV


Sophie Howe – Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Dr Eurgain Powell - Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Monday 5 February 2018

Read transcript of Evidence Session 3

Watch Evidence Session 3 on Senedd TV


Welsh Government

Andrew Slade

Sue Moffatt

Jonathan Hopkins

Monday 5 March 2018

Read transcript of Evidence Session 4

Watch Evidence Session 4 on Senedd TV


Welsh Government

Andrew Slade

Marion Stapleton

Jonathan Hopkins

Monday 18 February 2019

Read transcript of Evidence Session 5

Watch Evidence Session 5 on Senedd TV


Business type: Other

First published: 17/10/2017




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