The key aspects of the strategy are:
- Disaggregation of spend so that wider benchmarking of prices is possible and, in parallel, provide an opportunity to improve the negotiation skills of local buyers;
- A shift from digital procurement solutions to paper-based in the hope that micro-businesses will be able to take on global competitors who have become reliant on bidding through eProcurement solutions;
- Use of collusive bidding clauses to ensure that market dialogue opportunities are maximised;
- A shift to 'highest bid wins' in keeping with the wider NI Executive's Value for Money approach;
- To take some of the heat out of the heavily criticised RHI, green energy scheme, the feasibility of an Orange Supplier of the Year will be tested - this is not as bizarre as it sounds since, in recent times, the Health Minister issued a diktat that biscuits would be replaced with satsumas for departmental meetings.
Given that the NI Executive has now crumbled we may never know whether the Strategy would have delivered the anticipated benefits - time will tell though whether others adopt a similar approach.