Collaborative procurement

Collaborative procurement

We are committed to working in partnership with other local authorities and public sector bodies, where appropriate, to maximise the value we get from our contracts. We are active members of the following groups whose aim is to ensure local authorities work closer to achieve greater efficiencies:

Central Buying Consortium (CBC)

The Central Buying Consortium (CBC) is the largest local authority purchasing consortium in the UK.  Formed in 1991, the membership of CBC consists of 17 local authorities with representation from the Midlands to the South East (excluding London). The combined purchasing power of the consortium is £750m per annum. 

Benefits for suppliers include the reduction of product diversity, access to greater spend, and a reduction in administration overheads which flows from dealing with a single contract.

Find out more about the CBC 

Bucks Procurement Group

The County Council and district councils in Buckinghamshire work together to identify opportunities for collaboration.

Find out more about the district councils:

The group are working towards further local authority collaboration within Buckinghamshire.

Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (MKOB)

MKOB is a sub-regional partnership which works together to enable local delivery of the South East Regional Improvement & Efficiency Strategy, responding to the specific needs of local authorities in their area.

The partnership was established in September 2006 with the 12 authorities in the region (two counties, nine districts and one unitary).  

Although the majority of authorities in the partnership are high performers, collaborative working across geographical boundaries and across tiers is underdeveloped. Recognising the improvement and efficiencies that can be achieved through working across boundaries, an overarching ambition for the partnership is to deliver the following outcomes:

• Real improvements in service performance through working together across boundaries and tiers and learning from each other within local government and the broader public sector
• Improved value for money through a collaborative approach to efficiency savings, economies of scale and better policy making
• Increased resilience and capacity to deliver and manage change across the MKOB area
• Organisations that are fit for purpose to meet the needs of our customers and communities

The vision for the partnership is ‘working together across MKOB to enhance capacity, deliver improvement and drive efficiency’.

To find out more about MKOB send an email to

Improvement & Efficiency South East (IESE)

IESE is a partnership dedicated to helping local authorities and their partners achieve efficiency and improvement.

The partnership was formed from the merger of the South East Centre of Excellence (SECE) and the South East Improvement Partnership (SEIP). They build on the success achieved by the former organisations and their work is carried out by six regional themed partnerships – formed by SECE and SEIP – plus six further sub-regional partnerships and the regional South East Fire Improvement Partnership.

The aim of the partnership is to develop opportunities of shared working between local authorities, and other public sector bodies in the South East region (excluding London), involving with appropriate the private and voluntary sectors.

They have developed a business portal that shares details about contracts held by the local authorities, and are also used to promote opportunities to do business with the local authorities to prospective suppliers.  Registration to the portal is free and suppliers are encouraged to register their details. 

Find out more about IESE
Find out more about the business portal.

Buying Solutions

Buying Solutions is the national procurement partner for UK public services.  It was established in 2001 through a merger of the procurement functions of the Buying Agency and CCTA.  They are an executive agency of the Office of Government Commerce in the Treasury.

Their primary role is to maximise the value for money obtained by government departments and other public bodies through the procurement and supply of goods and services.  They are a trading fund which is run on commercial lines, with responsibility for generating income to cover its costs and make a return to the Treasury.

They deliver procurement solutions for nationally sourced commodity goods and services to customers in both central civil government and the wider public sector.

They are a smart choice for public sector procurement, enabling organisations to deliver improved value for money and efficiency.  It facilitates the buying process in a vast and highly complex marketplace, providing access to over 500,000 products and services through more than 600 suppliers.  The diverse customer base spans the biggest central government departments, NHS Trusts and local councils, through to the smallest schools.

Find out more about Buying Solutions.