Search in Features

GO Public Sector Supplier Summit – Jonathan Jones

Thursday July 11th, 2013

Taking place on 25 September at Avonmouth House in London, the GO Public Sector Supplier Summit 2013 is designed to provide both buyers and suppliers with the latest information on the key topics and developments within UK public procurement.

Jonathan Jones

Jonathan Jones

The four biggest areas of expenditure are Central Government, Local Government, the NHS and Education. Hearing from key procurement professionals in each of these four main areas about the initiatives and opportunities the Government is creating to encourage greater diversity within the supply chain will be invaluable for those businesses which are serious about becoming suppliers to the public sector or increasing the business they already have.

In the first of a series of interviews with key speakers at the forthcoming Public Sector Supplier Summit event, GO talks to Jonathan Jones FCIPS, National Programme Manager (Procurement) at the Local Government Association.


As a speaker at the forthcoming GO Public Sector Supplier Summit, why do you think this conference will be beneficial to private sector companies?

I will present the work on the National Procurement Strategy (NPS). This will show both current and potential suppliers the direction that local government is going and key national initiatives. There are great pressures on public finances and public sector procurement is a key tool in helping to deliver savings and improvements. My presentation will also identify how suppliers can do business effectively with local authorities and key things they need to know.


With 25 years’ experience, you are regarded as a key figure in the world of public procurement. How important is it for you to keep abreast of any changes within the sector?

It is vitally important to have a clear view of both central and local government initiatives and indeed the wider public sector. It is also very useful to talk to key suppliers to local government, to understand the issues and challenges they face. Recently we did a lot of work with suppliers under the national waste workstream, which has £250 million of central government money delegated to local authorities to deliver improved waste collection schemes. The key suppliers were very helpful, giving advice to improve product specifications and how tendering could generally be improved. We have many more initiatives where we are keen to talk to suppliers in key areas such as construction and energy etc.


What can delegates expect to hear from you at this year’s event? Are there any key areas that you feel you need to be making those in attendance aware of?

I hope I can spell out for them the direction local government procurement is going; this will help them understand the challenges and pressures their customers are facing and also new initiatives they need to consider such as Social Value and Apprenticeships etc.


The new EU Public Procurement Directive has been delayed again. If it’s passed in October/November this year, what areas do you see as having the biggest immediate impact?

I don’t see the EU Public Procurement Directive being delayed as an issue – the delays are due to consultation and lobbying by local government, central government and other parties to get a better outcome from the new Directives, which will help to make them more workable and much fairer when seeking to consider wider factors such as Social Value and supporting the locality etc. It is hoped that the new Directives will give councils more control over wider factors than just cost and price.


You’re involved in the delivery of the new National Procurement Strategy for local government. What has been the most challenging part of this role so far?

It is very important that all national projects will genuinely help local authorities improve their savings capabilities and procurement processes. It is also important that ideas and innovations are captured effectively and support other local authorities across the sector. This type of work takes time, patience and a lot of effort to ensure successful delivery.


GO Public Sector Supplier Summit

25 September 2013
Avonmouth House, London

Leave a Reply