"The launch of the National Procurement Service is an exciting and challenging time in setting a new direction for procurement in Wales. I believe it offers a tremendous opportunity to do things differently, to engage more collaboratively and set the agenda for the future."Sue Moffatt, NPS Director
The National Procurement Service (NPS) for Wales has been set up to enable the Welsh public sector to collaborate more closely in procuring goods and services. The NPS brings together public sector purchasing power of over £1bn, representing 20% to 30% of the Welsh annual expenditure in common and repetitive spend. The benefit of this arrangement is to save £25m per year once operational to allocate to public services in the face of unprecedented budgetary pressures.
Over 73 organisations in Wales have signed up to be part of this new initiative and include all local authorities, the NHS, Welsh Government and Welsh Government Sponsored bodies, the Police and Fire services and Higher and Further Education. The initial work plan has been finalised in consultation with sector organisations to ensure that priorities are captured and acted upon.
The NPS became operational in November 2013 and is staffed by 40 procurement professionals operating out of 3 locations: Bedwas (Caerphilly), Swansea and Llandudno Junction. The main operational hub is Bedwas where the NPS Director is located along with supporting functions. The NPS is managed through category teams that respond to the requirements of customer organisations and negotiate frameworks and contracts on their behalf, getting the best possible deal for the Welsh public sector.
The NPS will be hosted by the Welsh Government and its first 3 years of operation will receive funding of £5.9m from the Welsh Government's Invest to Save Fund. After the first 3 years the NPS will become self-funding.
While savings in goods and services will be a priority, it will not be the only priority and promoting local economic regeneration, community benefits and supporting SMEs and the voluntary sector in competing for Welsh public sector contracts will be important.
ESF Home-Grown Talent Project
NPS is contributing to the Home-Grown Talent project by developing the skills of its staff to maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits of collaborative and innovative procurement across the Welsh Public Sector. It also actively supports the expansion of the implementation of e-Procurement. The Home-Grown Talent Project is supported by the European Social Fund, through the Welsh Government.