The article linked below is a positive trend that I am also seeing in the UK, infrastructure and defence sectors; strategic procurement where results and outcomes for the Authority are the main focus, not profit/gain share (for the Authority or private sector partner) and not just compliance / task-based management.

But the UK public sector faces some significant challenges in making this approach work. It requires a different management approach which only comes from a concerted effort to change cultures and behaviours over a sustained period, and it requires trust,  trust that putting 'all your eggs in one (or a couple of) basket(s)' and procuring more strategically will deliver better results.

The other main challenge I see i making this approach stick is the skills shortage in the UK public sector.  Cuts and the drip-drip-drip of quality leaders moving to the private sector mean the public sector may lack the depth of capacity and resource to make this approach work consistently, and whilst strategic procurement should lead to a reduction in repetitive compliance and administration tasks associated with other procurement options, without high quality management it's easy to fall into old ways of working.

There are some great examples of this approach across the top tier of public sector bodies, but there is a long way to go until results and outcomes focused procurement is the norm in the public sector.