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TOWARDS A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PURCHASING, PROCUREMENT AND COMMISSIONING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR 1

TOWARDS A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PURCHASING, PROCUREMENT AND COMMISSIONING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR 1,J. Gordon Murray

TOWARDS A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PURCHASING, PROCUREMENT AND COMMISSIONING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR 1  
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This paper recognises that commissioning has now become an important term in the lexicon of UK public policy but asks is commissioning just a further stage of the evolution from 'purchasing' to 'procurement' - are 'commissioning' and 'procurement' synonymous. Anecdotal evidence suggests that practitioners are confused in answering this question. Therefore the academic community needs to help practitioners understand the answer and its implications. A document analysis of various UK Central Government departments' commissioning frameworks was used to establish the key themes and compare commissioning, procurement and purchasing. This paper discusses the similarities and differences, and argues that commissioning is different from procurement, but that commissioning offers major opportunities for Procurement practitioners to make a strategic contribution.
Published in 2008.
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