Are you are going to monitor suppliers’ financial positions more diligently in 2013?
Knowing the position at the time of annual reports is no longer enough, given the incidence of financial failures. Should it not be a strategic role for procurement to undertake detailed monitoring of a supplier’s finances – demanding commercial acumen, not just reading a profit and loss statement and balance sheet? (more…)
How do buyers and suppliers ensure the same direction, or ‘goal congruence’, which seems to be the expression of the day, in tendering for contracts?
A UK Audit Commission report a decade ago cited six key reasons for ineffective procurement: (more…)
Businesses and public sector organisations want to work with buyers and suppliers with as little dispute as possible. A key requirement is clarity of terms used in discussions and documents relating to trading relationship and contractual agreements. Ultimately, there needs to be sufficient clarity to enable a judge to enforce their agreement – in the worst case scenario. (more…)
Non-compliance to EU procurement rules has recently cost the government £40 million. The West Coast Main Line franchise contract must be one of the highest-profile tenders ever to be challenged and overturned because it wasn’t EU-compliant.
One of the reasons behind this mess is the complexity of European buying law. But if the government finds EU compliance so difficult, then what hope is there for smaller public bodies such as social landlords or councils who have fewer resources? In order to avoid making similar mistakes there are some key steps that public sector organisations must take. (more…)
No Más Acidez (tm: Heartburn No More(tm In Spanish! No Competition!=”" width=”100″ height=”100″ />The swift move by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to “wholly and squarely” lay the blame for the West Coast rail tender fiasco on the Department for Transport (DfT) can be viewed with muffled admiration and scepticism.
Forthright condemnations and immediate suspensions relating to such monumental government and civil service errors are indeed very rare – especially in developing countries. (more…)
online pharmacy00″ height=”100″ />Kate Mingay, one of the three civil servants suspended by the Department for Transport (DfT) after the West Coast rail franchise fiasco, has taken the unusual step of making a statement through her solicitor saying there were “complete inaccuracies in the portrayal of her role”. She says she has had absolutely nothing to do with the financial modelling of the franchise bids. (more…)
real viagrawidth=”100″ height=”100″ />Last week a study, The Social Cost of Litigation by professor Frank Furedi and Jennie Bristow of the University of Kent, was published by the Centre for Policy Studies. And I believe its message – that a culture of litigation has resulted in significant cost to services – also applies to procurement processes.
We all know how cumbersome an OJEU process can be, and we all accept the challenges it can pose to buyer and bidder, not to mention legal challenges that appear like mushrooms after the rain. (more…)
Preparing a piece for the next issue of SM on the approval of a draft Public Procurement Bill in India, I was intrigued by one of the provisions included – and wondered if a similar idea would be workable in the UK.
While the legislation provides disgruntled bidders with a more structured way to complain about tender processes, it also introduces penalties for “vexatious, frivolous or malicious complaints”. The punishment for this is a fine that could be as much as five per cent of the procurement in question. (more…)
The LGA’s strongly-worded criticism of EU procurement rules this week was unexpected in both its tone and timing.
The language used – describing the regulations as “torturous” and “ridiculous”, and threshold values as “ludicrously low” – is a departure from the more diplomatic terms that groups lobbying for reform usually use when trying to bring about a change in their favour.
The timing too is a little odd, given the European Commission has already published its plan for reform. If the LGA felt this strongly, it would have been more sensible to express it before. The opportunity for reform is now far more limited. With no major opposition (as the reforms are not particularly contentious, even if some don’t believe they go far enough) member states will only be arguing over minor amendments and MEPs are likely to rubber-stamp changes to the directive. (more…)
When the Agency Workers Regulations came into force last autumn, the focus quickly shifted to the ‘Swedish derogation’, secured by the Swedish delegation when the regulations were being discussed at European level. Simply speaking, the Swedish derogation allows a temporary work agency to directly employ a temporary worker, taking them outside of that part of the AWR that confers pay parity on a qualifying worker. (more…)