Government Purchasing Agency

Oral Answers to Questions — Finance and Personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:30 pm on 15th October 2001.

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Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin 3:30 pm, 15th October 2001

2. asked the Minister of Finance and Personnel to give his assessment of the performance targets set for the Government Purchasing Agency for 2001-02.

(AQO 263/01)

Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Leader of the Social Democratic & Labour Party

The targets that I set for the Government Purchasing Agency for 2001-02 and that I announced to the Assembly in July are designed to demonstrate to the agency’s customers and to other stakeholders how their needs and expectations are being met by the agency. They cover two main areas: the efficiency of the agency itself and the benefit that it brings to customers. They fall under four headings: finance, output, quality and efficiency. These targets are demanding but achievable; achieving them will ultimately benefit the taxpayer.

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

I thank the Minister for outlining those categories. Why are there no references to equality objectives in the performance targets that he has set for the Government Purchasing Agency?

Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Leader of the Social Democratic & Labour Party

I have already listed the areas covered by the performance targets. The agency is a key entity as far as Government procurement policy is concerned. It is in the context of the review of public procurement, which is now the subject of consultation, that we considered equality and targeting social need. The procurement review will consider Government procurement and matters covered by the work of the Government Purchasing Agency.