Public procurement is firmly in the spotlight in the COVID-19 crisis. Local authorities spend around £100bn or 47% of their total budget annually on procurement. In the pandemic crisis, it is crucial that this money delivers the maximum benefit for communities
Local authorities over past years have radically reduced their expenditure through the imposition of ‘austerity’ measures leading to a concern over their ability to continue to support their communities post-Brexit. Now with the arrival of the terrible Covid-19 this concern must be even greater.
The Centre for Partnering is developing the notion of a relational approach to collaboration and partnership in local public services particularly the importance of a relational culture.
Given these challenges it is imperative that the partnering of the public/private and voluntary sectors combine effectively to deliver enhanced future capacity. The Centre for Partnering addresses the importance of ‘relationalism’ – that is putting the need to form relationships first and sometimes ahead of those legal, financial, social, political and economic factors that influence partnering outcomes.
The CfP will also address many of the ‘wicked issues’ involved in improving this partnering culture. That is to say more transparency and joint working to find solutions and crucially build more trust.
A wide network of individuals and organisations have come together with thoughts and ideas to support to the idea of the establishment of the Centre for Partnering. This is a new ‘Think Tank’ led by four Universities from across the UK. We are hoping others may join our cause soon. These academic institutions challenge us to imagine a world working together in a relational culture where the public / private and voluntary sectors all come together with common purpose.