The SPTF held their first meeting on 26th May. The Task Force is charged with drawing up an action plan by April 2006 to bring about a step-change in sustainable public procurement so that the UK is among the leaders in the EU by 2009. The Government has a crucial role in furthering sustainable development through its procurement of goods, services and buildings. With a budget of over £125bn, the public sector can transform markets so that the private sector can join forces in pursuing sustainable purchasing policies. The Sustainable Procurement Task Force is under the chairmanship of Sir Neville Simms. Barbara Morton has been seconded as project manager to the Task Force.