NAO Report on Police Procurement

The full text of the Report is linked below, and here is an extract of the NAO recommendations from the Executive Summary:

A. The Department should review and map out the current governance structure for all police expenditure, including procurement. It should agree and document lines of accountability with all parties, and streamline current arrangements. The Department should consult with the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Inspectorate, the College of Policing and commissioners when revising its accountability system statement. It should set out clearly to all parties how the system of assurance will operate and the various parties’ responsibilities.

B. The Department should make a clear statement to forces and commissioners about what mandation of the national police procurement hub will mean, and how forces will be expected to use it. The Department should take advantage of forces’ support for the hub by identifying the barriers to implementation and supporting forces to overcome these, showing where it is achieving benefits.

C. The Department should improve and formalise how it collects data on police forces’ procurement spending so it can support forces and obtain assurance effectively. In particular it needs to ensure that it makes data for 2011-12 available as soon as possible. The Department should agree with forces and commissioners a hierarchy of data requirements. It should communicate the rationale for collection, and consult widely on how data can be shared more effectively to assist forces.

D. The Department should set out milestones for how it will meet its aim for forces to procure at least 80 per cent of expenditure on non-ICT goods and services through regional and national frameworks by 2014-15. It should prioritise agreeing specifications for common equipment and consumables with forces. This should help forces collectively make savings in procurement spending and back-office costs by reducing the local procurement activity required.

E. The Department should prepare a contingency response for dealing with resistance to agreed national approaches from individual forces or commissioners. Commissioners are now responsible for ensuring they deliver value for money for their force, and may face difficult decisions if approaches that are nationally or regionally beneficial incur their forces extra costs. The Home Office will need to be prepared to deal with such circumstances as they arise to prevent further fragmentation.

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