UK Metropolitan Police procurement
The London Metropolitan Police force has 44,000 staff supported by a £500 million annual procurement budget, managed by the Metropolitan Police’s procurement department, comprised of 50+ staff.
Yet until the authority was created as part of the Mayor of London’s recently, its procurement policy barely existed. Goods were purchased on price alone, procurement officers handled orders as they arrived without any market specialisation and only three out of the 50 staff had CIPS qualifications. They had to introduce processes and procedures, training and development, tools and techniques that delivered best value for the authority. Staff were encouraged to gain CIPS qualifications.
Before the authority was established, procurement staff simply handled orders as they arrived, often with no prior warning, and did not have any particular familiarity with specific markets. Now staff specialise in one or two market areas (commodity management) and are switched around every 18 months or so to gain experience in other commodities or services. It has moved them from simply doing what they are told, to knowing they have a valuable part to play in strategic decision making and operational delivery. They have cut their 2000 suppliers by 30 per cent, buying from longer-term, ‘higher value’ relationships.
An example of improvements is as follows: for yellow waterproof jackets, a 40 per cent saving was delivered by aggregating their own requirements. In the police environment, availability and
performance of equipment come first – operational support and quality are paramount and only then do they think about saving money.
They have begun to put in place contracts that give them clear performance measures and improvement targets. They used to buy always on lowest price. Now they use the whole-life costing approach.
In addition to the introduction and conclusion, please answer the below question
Question 1. As a newly formed department, advise how the London Police can improve their procurement strategy, processes and organization. Provide a minimum of 5 recommendations