The government has put a ban on councils and public sector organisations buying brand name products. Most of the time brand names are far more expensive just because of their brand name. They are being told to look for similar alternatives to the branded goods. They estimate they will save £20 billion over 5 years by not buying branded names.

The government have introduced the decentralisation of all council departments of which there are between 40-50 per local authority so they have their own individual budgets which they can spend as they see fit. In the past the central purchasing department bought on behalf of all the individual departments which meant that the individual departments had no say in the products or services or who supplied them.

This led to incorrect items being purchased and often the contracts would be awarded to the same companies’ time and time again. Decentralisation stops this from happening – allowing new heads of departments and purchasing officers to buy for their own departments – so there is no better time to be in front of these officers.

The Think Small First Initiative is particularly aimed at small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as this initiative has earmarked billions of pounds of contracts to be allocated to these companies. All of the previous big contracts have been broken down into much smaller units – the reason being is to allow smaller companies to take on contracts which were previously unobtainable and councils can finally put wealth back into their own geographical area.

All council buyers have now got to pick quality over pricing – no longer can they go and source a product purely on cost – if you can prove that your product or service is of better quality, then they must look at that before the cost.

Some of the well-known Council Departments:

Highways; Education; Social Services; Finance; Legal Services; Public Relations; Architecture; Administration; IT Department; Refuse & Recycling; Burial & Cremation; Leisure; Libraries; Street Cleaning; Health & Safety; Training: Housing Department; Economic Development; National Parks and Countryside; Consumer Protection & Trading Standards; Planning; Tourism; Public Health; Environmental Health; Conservation; Art Galleries; Direct Labour Organisation; Civil Aviation; Public Transport; Civic Centres (list not exhaustive)