Government department plays down speculation it will be closed but says it will be more integrated with the Treasury

david adamson, Smarter Construction director at the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), admitted today that the body is likely to be “brought closer in” to the Treasury.

This morning’s issue of Building has suggested that the OGC is to be restructured and slimmed down, and it is likely that part of the organisation will rejoin the Treasury. The OGC is an independent office of the Treasury at the moment.

Adamson played down speculation that the OGC could be shut down, but said: “It has been made very clear to me that the OGC will continue, closely integrated into the Treasury. It will be kept close, perhaps brought closer in.”

There has been much criticism of the OGC, largely centring on its lack of political clout. The Treasury is understood to be considering bringing its procurement function back in-house.

However, Adamson said that the Public Sector Construction Clients Forum (PSCCF), for which he is responsible will continue to run whatever the Treasury decides.

The PSCCF brings together public sector clients to produce best practice guidance. At an OGC conference this morning it was announced that it is inviting a private sector client to join so that it can share expertise.

The PSCCF has five working groups, ranging from whole-life costs to fair payment. A sixth working group is due to be added shortly, which will focus on improving client capability.

Nick Raynsford, the former construction minister, said in a speech to the conference: “It seems to me that it’s crucial that there is a close relationship between Treasury and the OGC (to improve public sector procurement).”