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Slimmer OGC to get more power

The government is to slash its procurement department the Office of Government Commerce in half but give it more power to force government departments take its advice.
OGC chief executive John Oughton announced the overhaul of his office last week. The current 410 OGC staff are expected to be reduced to 250 and it is likely that at least one of its four offices at Edinburgh, Leeds, Norwich and London will close.OGC will now focus solely on central government, excluding the National Health Service and the Ministry of Defence. Its involvement with improving local government procurement will cease with responsibility picked up the Regional Centres of Excellence.The department will be closely allied to the Treasury advising the Treasury's new Major Projects Review Group which will decide whether individual departments' major schemes can go ahead.The Group will act as a double check on departmental pet schemes at three stages in their development:When the business case is being developed to confirm that the scheme is needed and verify the procurement process is the right one;Before the project goes out to tender to test the specification and prospect of success;Before contract award to check the preferred winner can deliver in time, and on budget.Commercial experts, probably from the private sector, will be called in to sit on the group.

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