National Advisory Group (NAG) Terms of Reference

The National Advisory Group, convened by the LGA, is a group of senior local government procurement professionals which reports on a quarterly basis to our Improvement and Innovation Board and to our chief executive sponsor, Professor Martin Reeves of Coventry City Council.


Background

The Local Government Association is the national voice of local government. We work with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

Councils have been subject to reductions in funding and unavoidable growth pressures on the resources it has available to deliver services to our communities. The importance of strategic procurement in dealing with these issues is recognised across local government.

Our definition of strategic procurement includes procurement’s role in commissioning, collaboration with the wider public sector and contract management. The role of procurement includes delivering efficiencies, contributing to reshaping and transforming service delivery as well as ensuring value for money and positively influencing the impact on local, regional and national businesses and jobs. 

Role, remit and membership of the National Advisory Group (NAG)

The National Advisory Group, convened by the LGA, is a group of senior local government procurement professionals with extensive experience of working at a senior level in local government and the wider local public sector. The group includes at least one representative per region in England and one representative for Wales. NAG works as one cohesive voice in order to:

  • share good practice to maximise the benefits of good procurement, as well as communicate and support local government colleagues to adopt any good practice identified
  • support the strategic position of procurement in supporting wider policies, improvements, added social value and efficiency savings for the sector
  • identify and remove barriers to efficient and collaborative procurement
  • account for procurement’s role in relation to other groups and bodies such as integrated care systems (ICSs) and initiatives such as commercialism, devolution and combined authorities
  • develop, influence and improve access to procurement training for local government and our public sector partners.

The National Advisory Group will:

  • report on a quarterly basis to the LGA Improvement and Innovation Board and to our chief executive sponsor, Professor Martin Reeves of Coventry City Council
  • work with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Cabinet Office, and others, as appropriate, through the Strategic Steering Group
  • provide leadership on issues relating to local government procurement through the National Procurement Strategy and by providing one cohesive voice on a range of workstreams.

Workstreams

Workstreams covered will include:

  • showing leadership through supporting our elected members and senior managers and working with central government teams on policy, influencing stakeholders and engaging with suppliers and our professional buying organisations – projects will include:
    • guidance and e-learning materials for elected members and senior managers
    • engaging with key local government sector suppliers through our strategic supplier relationship management project
    • encouraging collaboration between councils, regional groups and the wider public sector
    • working with councils to consider a national approach to council procurement data
  • behaving commercially through creating commercial opportunities, influencing markets, promoting the use of simple, transparent processes, reporting and sharing performance information, good contract management and appropriate risk management – projects will include:
    • working with the Cabinet Office to maintain free access for councils to Government Commercial College materials and e-learning including contract management, outsourcing and procurement fraud
    • developing other local government skills training and ensuring this is free to council officers
    • working with LGA policy teams and with central Government on market management for specified categories of spend
  • achieving community benefits by fully capturing the additional social value that can be achieved through the procurement process, engaging with voluntary, community and social enterprises (VSCEs), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses to increase local economic growth – specifically, we will:
    • continue to chair and work with the National Social Value Taskforce to support the creation of healthy, thriving and resilient communities by embedding social value in the services that we commission and procure and in maximising supply chain engagement with communities
    • continue to develop and promote guidance and materials that will help councils to engage better with SMEs and VCSEs
    • work with other LGA groups to develop, share and implement good practice in relation to the climate emergency.

Meetings and communications

  • Face-to-face meetings (which will also be accessible online) will take place quarterly.
  • Communications and notes from NAG meetings will be available shortly after each meeting.
  • Subgroup, and task and finish group, meetings will take place as required.
  • Our National Advisory Group newsletter (our procurement and supply chain e-bulletin) will be distributed on at least a monthly basis.

NAG member responsibilities

NAG members will:

  • be nominated as a regional representative by regional procurement networks
  • be the primary point of contact for their regions for councils wishing to raise issues of wider interest
  • attend (or appoint an appropriate substitute) NAG meetings
  • contribute to NAG subgroups and to encourage wider regional participation in these groups
  • contribute and encourage contribution to discussions on shaping the national procurement policy agenda
  • identify and share good practice with other NAG members and wider local government procurement networks
  • promote the work of NAG to colleagues and networks as appropriate
  • provide papers for agenda items one week in advance of the meeting
  • forward communications to their own networks as soon as they are available.

NAG members

Local Government Association

East Midlands

  • Gus de Silva, West Northamptonshire Council
  • Kaj Ghattaora, Nottingham County Council

East of England

  • Al Collier, Norfolk County Council
  • Bev Thomas, Harlow Council

Fire

  • Melanie Walsh, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (main contact)
  • Luke Malton, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

Local Partnerships

  • Teresa Oliviere, Local Partnerships

London

  • Mark Pearson, London Borough of Hounslow
  • Claire Reilly, London Borough of Enfield

North East

  • Darren Knowd, Durham County Council
  • Nicola Shelley, North East Procurement Organisation
  • Steven Sinclair, North East Procurement Organisation

North West

  • Helen McMahon, Lancaster City Council
  • Nicola Wadley, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Paul Maynard, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Procurement Hub
  • Peter Schofield, Manchester City Council

South East

  • Belinda Stubbs, Hampshire County Council
  • Keith Coleman, Surrey County Council
  • Steve Ede, Essex County Council

South West

  • Chanelle Busby, Exeter City Council

Wales

  • Richard Dooner, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA)

West Midlands

  • John Thompson, City of Wolverhampton Council
  • Sarah Bass, Telford & Wrekin Council

Yorkshire and Humber

  • Chris Arnold, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Jane Lockwood, Kirklees Council
  • Rachel Woodward, North Yorkshire County Council