“The reforms will drive behavioural and cultural change across the whole organisation”

A new blog from Carl Thomas, WG Procurement Reform Stakeholder & Policy Lead, that puts context to the changes that are coming everyone’s way. 


This is a story about four people named Everybody, Procurement, Anybody, and Nobody.  

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.   

 Everybody was sure that Procurement would do it.  

 Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.    

 Procurement got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.   

 Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody would not do it.  

 It ended up that Everybody blamed Procurement when Nobody did what Anybody could have. 


Usually, one of the main characters in this story is ‘Somebody’, and typically the story is used to highlight issues around ownership, responsibility, accountability and teamwork. But I have used a bit of creative licence and changed the main character to ‘Procurement’. And after this slight change, the story takes on a whole new meaning when we think about the role of procurement in organisations and, importantly in the context of this blog, procurement reform.  

As the Procurement Bill edges ever closer to achieving Royal Assent, the evolution in procurement legislation will require colleagues across the Welsh public sector to do things differently. Note the language I have used here – “colleagues across the Welsh public sector”, not “procurement colleagues” or “public sector buyers”. And there is good reason for this… colleagues across the Welsh public sector are the ‘Everybody’ in the story above.  

I’m lucky in my role that I get to speak to stakeholders from across the wider Welsh public sector, and during my conversations over the past few months I have been emphasizing the point that the reforms being introduced are organisational changes, and they will affect everyone in the organisation.  

The reforms will drive behavioural and cultural change across the whole organisation, elevating procurement as a strategic corporate function supports the realisation of overarching organisational objectives and delivers social, environmental, economic and cultural outcomes, including fair work. 


So what can we learn from the story above?  

In short, procurement reform is Everybody’s job. Procurement colleagues might be responsible for implementing the changes, but they cannot do it on their own. It will take teamwork and collaborative working across the organisation to ensure that that the flexibilities and benefits of the new regime are realised. And ultimately, accountability for the successful implementation of the changes will rest with senior leadership.