May 22, 2013
In recent months, notable examples have emerged of the damage that can be caused when funders and public sector organisations enter into inappropriate funding structures. If you believe the critics of these partnerships between the public and private sector then it’s clear why: the private sector is seen to be driven by short-term profits, while the public sector seeks long-term social benefit.
These recent problems around funding partnerships, particularly in social housing, raise the question of how public organisations can attract the right funding partner for them and ensure the partnership has longevity. (more…)
October 25, 2012
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…)
October 8, 2012
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…)
August 22, 2012
These are tough times across the public sector and local government is no exception. Not only is central government funding being cut by 25 per cent but, as part of the UK government’s commitment to transparency, how they spend the rest of their money is under increased scrutiny. The Department for Communities and Local Government has already dictated all local authorities publish all expenditure over £500 and this week went further by lowering its own threshold to £250. (more…)
April 30, 2012
In an exclusive for SM, I would like to announce I am setting the deadline of 27 August 2015 to be when I am the first person to set foot on Mars.
I am just as likely to meet this target as the European Commission is to achieve its goal that all public sector procurement will be carried out electronically by mid-2016.
The Commission describes the target as “ambitious”. I would describe it as laughable. (more…)
April 20, 2012
We are living in times of a growing amount of digital data. Economist writer Ludvig Siegele claims 2012 will be the year in which the trend of ‘big data’ gets noticed more widely. “Many more firms will start to analyse huge piles of data to optimise everything from their supply chains to their customer relationship,” he wrote. (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…)
September 28, 2011
Two events happened this week that shook my world. First, the discovery at Cern in Switzerland of a new particle which can travel faster than light and that E might not equal mc2 after all and second, when my nine-year-old son suggested that shops should offer discounts on free things which meant that we would actually get paid for buying things!
My scientist cousin who works in the Cern Institute tells me that if the first discovery is validated it will change everything we know about the universe so far. And my son’s idea turns business concepts upside down. Cern’s experiment costs billions of dollars, while my son’s comment was just a throwaway childish remark: but are they so different after all? (more…)
September 16, 2011
Prime Minister David Cameron said in February that he wanted to increase the amount of government work awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises from around 5 to 25 per cent. In order to do that, he said, it needed to overhaul the way it does business and would support central government purchasers who take a chance on smaller suppliers.
However, speaking at the SME Public Procurement Conference 2011 at Painters’ Hall in London yesterday, Chuka Umunna MP, shadow minister for small business and enterprise questioned whether another government policy – more aggregated deals – was resulting in fewer opportunities for SMEs. (more…)
October 11, 2010
Ahead of my blog reacting to the full report from Sir Philip Green published later today, please find a couple of teasers below…