April 17, 2013
Margaret Thatcher’s premiership arguably heralded the biggest changes in the public sector since the second world war. But with the benefit of a vantage point in the Cabinet Office and then the Treasury for eight of the 11 years of her government, my perception is that the initiatives and reforms were practical responses to issues that had to be tackled.
What Baroness Thatcher did was create the environment for innovation and initiative – doing what had hitherto been unthinkable. This was leadership. Only towards the end of her premiership – and probably largely afterwards, did people rationalise these initiatives into a philosophy called ‘Thatcherism’. (more…)
April 2, 2013
It is eight years ago since I posed the question “If Tesco managed its procurement like the UK public sector, would it still be in business?”
A result of that was Towards Tesco, the report I produced for the Institute of Directors, which argued for: (more…)
March 23, 2012
I was with a government procurement representative recently. She happened to mention the reduction in procurement staff meant they were being encouraged to place contracts that encompassed more and more capability. This policy is to get them ready for yet more job losses. Simply put, if the number of contracts isn’t reduced the remaining staff will not be able to cope with the workload in the future. (more…)
November 30, 2011
As expected, yesterday’s autumn statement did not have much that was new to say in terms of new procurement initiatives. While commitments such as completing all government procurements within 120 working days (except the most complex) and increasing communication between the public and private sector are interesting developments, we already knew about them thanks to Cabinet Office disclosure a couple of weeks ago.
However, the time I spent watching the chancellor address parliament was not wasted. Watching the fiery debate, I began to see just how difficult it must be for procurement to get across the details and importance of initiatives to stakeholders. (more…)