ON 3 February, STAR Procurement (STAR) celebrated its fifth anniversary as a shared procurement service. Initially formed by Rochdale, Stockport and Trafford Councils, one of STAR’s many successes saw Tameside Council join its shared service in 2018.
Not only is STAR supporting four neighbouring councils but in recent years it has become the procurer of choice for a number of other public bodies, all working hard to strengthen the Greater Manchester economy. These include Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across the STAR councils and other GM boroughs, the North West Library Consortium and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) programmes delivering improvements through collaboration.
STAR is now responsible for delivering more than 60 per cent of collaborative procurement across the Greater Manchester region.
“I am pleased that STAR has been able to build on its initial successes and expand to include a fourth council. This validates the decision that Rochdale, Stockport and Trafford Councils took in 2014 to create a shared procurement service”, said Cllr Mike Cordingley, chair of the STAR Joint Committee.
STAR is going from strength to strength, recognised by the number of national awards and accolades it has received over the past few years. It has twice received iNetwork’s Connected Procurement award and has also received the Government Opportunities Leadership of the Year award, among others - recognition that STAR is leading the way in public procurement excellence.
Over the past five years, STAR has delivered savings in excess of £22 million for its councils, helping them to provide more for less during a period of increased focus on public-sector spending. In doing so, STAR has exceeded its targets year on year and, as it goes into its sixth year, is on track to continue this achievement; working closely with colleagues across its council bases to identify improvements and innovation to deliver more cost-effective public services.
STAR initiatives such as Go Local and Risk-based Sourcing are helping to strengthen the economies not only of the STAR authorities, but also assisting the wider GMCA focus on public-sector spending. STAR is also building on the GMCA Social Value Policy, and is now aiming for a 20 per cent weighting on the delivery of additional social value through local public spending.
The desire for savings and increased benefit from public-sector spend has not come at the expense of best practice and STAR has achieved the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s Corporate Ethics Mark for its commitment to ethical and sustainable procurement.
All of this has lead STAR to become an employer of choice for procurement professionals, growing from 26 to a team of 40 motivated and dedicated officers over the past five years as the demand for its services has gone from strength to strength.
“We are building on the foundations of this success with new and exciting opportunities in development as STAR continues to assist its councils and wider partners in the delivery of excellent public services across Greater Manchester,” said Lorraine Cox, director of STAR Procurement.
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