In August 2023 WLGA took an innovative and radical step, stripping out the procurement content from the new-look WLGA website.
With a Procurement Reform process in full flow, a new Social Partnerships and Public Procurement Act in Wales, and greater expectation than ever on procurement to deliver for councils in Wales, why would they do that?!
Richard Dooner, WLGA’s lead officer for procurement and advocate for a new Welsh way for procurement – one which is all about policy, collaboration, and playing to strengths – tells us why.
We needed to support a large scale and technically challenging reform process, but we didn’t have the resources. We might have tried finding resource; but we were already collaborating with Cyd for the wider network. So instead of duplicating Cyd, we chose to reduce our own content to the bare minimum, combine our efforts and signpost to this excellent source.
We’ve got beautiful policies in Wales. We can do so much more to help their delivery through better procurement; but we’re massively depleted in our practical resources and there’s little expectation that that’s going to change anytime soon. We can worry about it, or we can do something.
The WLGA is no different to any other organisation in wanting a good web presence – one that reflects the work that’s being done by the organisation, and provides a service to councils.
We need to be better at telling people about the possibilities in procurement and sharing what we know. Our digital presence might address some of that for us; but our value is added in how procurement supports councils to deliver services, and that’s our priority.
If others have a better digital proposition for us, we don’t need to compete with them, we need to recognise the potential and help them achieve it. Which is really what this innovation is about. WLGA is after a collaborative win.
We still author our own material; but this way we present differently, as part of a wider community of practice where we add value to that community, instead of competing with it.
The new WLGA content leaves only a signpost page and a new Sustainable Procurement Toolkit in the Transition & Recovery Support Programme, which is also signposted from Cyd. It’s a strong example of de-duplication.
There is no way to know at this point how the Cyd experiment will go. But it’s evident that the WLGA and Cyd are giving it all we have, and no one can ask more than that.
Cyd is currently in Beta and is funded until March 2024.