Category Archives: Procurement

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Imminent new EU procurement rules pave way for Preliminary Market Engagement (PME)

Posted on by Stephen James Procurement Regulations Free Guide

Preliminary Market Engagement (PME) is an incredibly useful step in the procurement process, especially when one of the more restrictive procedures is to be selected. However, essential though it may be, PME has until now been largely ignored. New EU procurement directives, soon to be implemented in the UK, will change all this, and with a little luck this will ensure that more procurements are a success in future. What

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The Need For Effective Communication

Posted on by Jayne Bacon effective communication

Why is it that no matter how clearly, simply or concisely you communicate your expectations, there will be times when what you get back bears no resemblance to what you were asking for? Is it your communication style, a training issue, or a lack of focus on the part of those who should be following your instructions to the letter? The simple fact of the matter is that while what

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The Potential Dangers Of Fixed Fee Projects

Posted on by Richard Kerr fixed fee projects

Fixed fees are often seen as the ultimate goal for buyers when negotiating a new project with a vendor. But while fixed fee projects can offer a degree of certainty on both sides, if needs and costs are not determined with reasonable accuracy at the outset, and the contract terms not rigorously defined, costs can quickly spiral out of control, however good your initial intentions may have been. This article

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Social And Environmental Tender Provisions In The New EU Procurement Directives

Posted on by Chris Browne Strategic Commissioning

Big changes are afoot for the public sector procurement process after a whole new raft of legislation was approved by the European Parliament in January. The most recent of these directives, to be implemented by each Member State within the next two years, aims to bring social and environmental factors out from the cold, giving them weight and importance by allowing them to be considered in the tendering process. Eager

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How To Ensure Value For Money When Offered An Attractive Deal

Posted on by Richard Kerr value for money

The lure of a great deal can be hard to resist. It seems that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a retail outlet with windows awash with red ‘SALE’ signs or a professional service company offering a ‘limited time only’ discount, the reaction can be the same – an unconscious urge to reach for your wallet! But what happens if the ‘too good to be true’ deal that you’re being offered

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How To Avoid The Temptations Of A Supplier’s Sales Pitch

Posted on by Jayne Bacon Avoid sales pitch

Before signing up to new contracts – especially large ones – a round of pre-contractual due diligence is something that should never be skimped on, skirted around or ignored. It is a safety net designed to catch you should you fall from the high wire of your decision-making process. However, over the years, we have been asked to intervene in many client/supplier relationships which have experienced issues or are now

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How To Speed Up Your Tendering Process

Posted on by Stephen James speed up tendering process

Throughout our lives, in one form or another, we are told to conform to the rather sensible adage ‘more haste, less speed’, and nowhere is this more relevant than with public sector procurement strategy where, as we all know, even the smallest error of judgement can have massive financial ramifications. But what happens when speed is of the essence, when your commitment schedule is out of your hands, where pressure

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Open Book Accounting in Public Sector Outsourcing

Posted on by Vicky Ladizhinskaya Open Book Accounting

The perception of honesty and integrity in the outsourcing sector has been shaken in the wake of the negative media coverage of Serco and G4S and the announcement on 12 Dec. that both firms lost their tagging contracts. While many firms maintain their spotless reputations, it does highlight the need for better client-side management in relation to having a policy on open book accounting in public sector outsourcing… So, do

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Problematic Big IT Projects: Can your contract force ‘good faith’ from your vendor? New court rulings suggest it can

Posted on by Allan Watton Problematic Big IT Projects 216 x 160

If you are to believe the statistics published on problematic big IT projects – whether a commercial sector Enterprise Software implementation (ERP), a Local Authority Client Relationship System (CRM) or an NHS Trust dealing with a problematic Electronic Patient Records (EPR) implementation – one thing is common throughout: the likelihood of you achieving your business outcomes from these systems, in the time-scales and costs originally agreed, is less than 50%. In

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Posted in Contract Management, IT Contract, IT Dispute, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Project Management, Project Recovery, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Government Procurement and Project Failures : How Can the ‘Road Crashes’ Be Avoided?

Posted on by Chris Browne Government Project Failure

As I recently read through yet another Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report uncovering yet more failures of Government procurement and project failures, I found myself wondering whether the squandering of the public purse is ever going to be addressed with any seriousness. And what conclusion did I draw? Well, I’m really not sure that things will change. There has been a miserably consistent record of wasted money and opportunity and,

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Posted in Contract Management, Cut Costs, Outsourcing, Performance Improvement, Procurement, Public Sector, Risk Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changes to EU Procurement Rules: Fail to Prepare; Prepare to Fail

Posted on by Chris Browne meeting

This blog post is the fourth in a series that has looked at some of the most significant upcoming changes to the EU Procurement Rules Directive* and discussed the possible impacts across the Public Sector. In this concluding post, we’ll be considering the new time limits that will apply at various points in the EU procurement routes, looking at some other miscellaneous changes and reiterating the need for pre-planning and

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New EU Procurement Directive: Understanding Core Criteria Changes

Posted on by Chris Browne Meeting1

This blog post is the third in a series that will assess some of the most significant changes to the new EU Procurement Directive* and examines the possible impact across the Public Sector. This article highlights the proposed changes to guidelines governing the various types of criteria during the procurement process; specifically the bidder selection criteria, tender evaluation and exclusion criteria, and the contract award criteria. EU Procurement Directive: Bidder

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Changes to EU Procurement Rules: Innovation Partnerships, Preliminary Market Consultations & Joint Procurements

Posted on by Chris Browne Innovation Partnership

A new EU Procurement Directive* is close to being agreed and is likely to come into force by the end of the year. This blog post is the second in a series (click here for the first one) that will discuss some of the most significant upcoming changes to the EU Procurement Rules and look at some of the possible impacts across the Public Sector. This post specifically considers the proposed introduction of Innovation Partnerships and Preliminary

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Changes to EU Procurement Rules: What is the Impact of the New Thresholds?

Posted on by Chris Browne Thresholds.

A new EU procurement Directive is close to being agreed; as a result, new EU Procurement Rules are set to replace existing Public Sector procurement terms later this year (*subject to ratification; see foot note). The proposed changes will affect the way organisations procure services, supplies and works across the Public Sector, so we thought it’s worth looking at some of their implications. All public procurements in the UK have

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Dropping PQQs on €200,000 Contracts – is it a Step in the Wrong Direction?

Posted on by Chris Browne Questionnaire

It was recently reported in the trade press that pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) on public sector contracts under €200,000 will be axed. The reasoning behind this move is that PQQs on smaller contracts are “burdensome” and make the tendering process onerous for SMEs. Furthermore, a “single passport” system is to be adopted, by which companies can enter pre-qualification data once on a standardised form and rely upon that single submission for all future tenders

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How to Collaborate to Get What You Want from Your Strategic Partnership

Posted on by Peter Carter Benefits of Collaboration

One of the imperatives of modern service delivery is to partner with people who can do things for you better and more cost effectively than you can do them yourself. The UK’s public sector is no exception, with more and more innovative forms of governance and management being created through partnerships with others, especially within local government. Yet, research shows that high numbers (nearly 50% in fact) of strategic partnerships

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The Hidden Responsibilities of Social Enterprises & Mutuals for Service Delivery – The Localism Act

Posted on by Allan Watton The localism act

Since The Localism Act was introduced at the end of 2011, bringing both new freedoms for local government and new rights and powers for individuals and communities, there has been a move by internal staff teams to express an interest in running a service currently delivered by their local authority. Employees have been creating social enterprises and public service mutuals in order to ‘step out’ from the local authority. This

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Large Scale Innovative Project Failures: Are the Consultants to Blame?

Posted on by Allan Watton MI5 Headquarters

Outsourcing has once again been in the public eye due to two recent high profile project failures. Last month, MI5 abandoned its reported £90m digital records management system over concerns that implementation of the system would lead to an “intelligence vacuum.” Just a few days later, the BBC finally scrapped its Digital Media Initiative (DMI) at a final estimated cost to the licence payers of nearly £100m. Although the DMI

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6 Steps to Avoid Supplier Challenge When Evaluating Tenders

Posted on by Chris Browne Score

Public sector organisations are governed by a formidable set of rules and regulations when it comes to receiving and evaluating tenders. While the public sector rules have been designed to create an environment in which tenders are fairly and objectively analysed, the underlying good intentions do not detract from its somewhat complicated nature. However, if you break down the evaluation process into its constituent steps and ensure that you are

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How to Create an Evaluation Framework for Procurement Tenders

Posted on by Chris Browne Framework.

In a recent post we outlined our four step minimum risk procurement strategy in which we discussed the creation of an evaluation framework. This is something that I cannot stress the importance of enough — not only is a good evaluation framework the only way to accurately measure the relative merits (or otherwise) of submitted tenders, it is a necessity for public sector organisations with regards to transparency and the

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