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Highlights from the procurement for the future March CoLabs

In March, we ran our first procurement for the future CoLabs. It was great to create a space where so many enthusiastic procurement professionals could come together.

Reflections on Procurement for the Future March CoLabs


Kirsten McLay: The intention of the CoLabs originally was to make sure that there was a forum in which agencies and suppliers could feed into the work that was being done on the programme. We can have some of the side discussions, where you go, "oh that's actually really interesting, we need to have - maybe we just have a smaller meeting with a smaller set of people and we know who they are, about a focused area."

This gives an opportunity for agencies and suppliers to actually be involved in the design and feel like they are part of the changes, because we're not going to do it on our own and this is a way of bringing people together, so that we weren't doing it on our own.

I think it's easy to talk about all the things that are wrong with something, it's harder to come up with solutions about how you might resolve them. And if we continue to talk about all of the problems, we're actually not going to get any action to help resolve them.

There's some really amazing ideas out there.

I thought that it was a really good opportunity to actually start some of those conversations from across the system.

If you're keen to be involved in one of our future CoLabs, then please go to our website for more details about how to get involved.

The CoLabs workshopped key functions of our proposed sector leadership model. They also looked at the draft benefit realisation plan and how we could improve Consultancy Services Orders. The outputs from these events help us shape the solutions to help deliver the Government’s procurement for the future strategy.

At the in-person event, participants really ran with the ‘two feet’ rule and maximised their time by contributing fantastic ideas to our workshops. The online CoLabs, which were a little bit smaller, had some great discussion as well.

Suppliers enjoyed the opportunity to work with agency procurement teams and exchange ideas and solutions. Agencies made the most of these open discussions with businesses and non government organisations (NGOs).

Agency representatives also valued being able to meet or reconnect with colleagues from other agencies and have an opportunity to shape how we can work together on procurement practices across government.

Both suppliers and agencies took the chance to deepen their understanding of approaches to common problems and learn more about each other’s needs and priorities.

Feedback on the CoLabs has been very positive. We’ll be adopting many of the suggestions to improve our future CoLabs.

Thank you to everyone who came and shared their expertise with us to help improve the projects for procurement for the future. We look forward to meeting more of you at future events.

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