STAR Procurement celebrated its fifth anniversary this month as a shared procurement service for local councils.
Initially formed by Stockport, Trafford and Rochdale Councils in Greater Manchester, one of STAR’s many successes saw Tameside Council join its shared service in 2018.
STAR is now supporting four neighbouring councils and in recent years has become the procurer of choice for a number of other public bodies, all working hard to strengthen the Greater Manchester economy.
Public bodies 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 over 60% of collaborative procurement across the GM 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”, says Councillor Mike Cordingley, Chair of the STAR Joint Committee.
STAR has twice received the iNetworks ‘Connected Procurement’ Award and has also received the Government Opportunities ‘Leadership of the Year’ Award – recognition that STAR is leading the way in public procurement excellence.
Over the past 5 years, STAR has delivered savings in excess of £22 million for its councils, helping them to deliver 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 councils, but also assisting the wider GMCA focus on public sector spending within Greater Manchester. STAR is also building on the GMCA Social Value Policy, and is now aiming for a 20% 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 goes 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”, says Lorraine Cox, Director of STAR Procurement.