Procurement News – all UK Public Sector stuff today

by Peter Smith on October 18, 2010

Less Re:source for the NHS

The East Midlands NHS Procurement Hub is to be abolished, Procurement Leaders reports (an ‘exclusive’ for them – haven’t seen this elsewhere). They report:

“Following a rigorous appraisal of collaborative procurement in the National Health Service (NHS) across the UK’s East Midlands the decision has been made to disband the provider support function of NHS Re:source Collaborative Procurement Hub. The chief executives of NHS Trusts in the East Midlands decided not to accept the recommendations from an independent appraisal carried out on their behalf that recommended the continuance of a ’streamlined hub’.”

Interesting that an independent appraisal was ignored – that doesn’t happen very often in the public sector. Any further analysis of the Byzantine complexity of the procurement landscape in the NHS will have to wait until I have a week or two to spare.

NAO report that government still not managing consultants well

NAO are producing so much interesting material at the moment it is hard to keep up.  Here’s their update on use of consultants in Government, which says spend last year didn’t change much, and previous recommendations still haven’t been implemented properly.  NAO make some very good points that are actually highly applicable to private sector buyers of consultancy as well; for instance, the importance of monitoring and measuring consultant performance, and the need to educate users of consultancy as well as procurement people in order to get the best results.  Well worth a read if you’re involved with that spend category in may way.

Stop Press! Procurement doesn’t feature in new National Security Strategy

Following my detailed analysis (i.e. use of the ’search’ facility) of the new National Security Strategy document I can confirm that the only mention of procurement is in the Foreword, where Cameron and Clegg have a bit of a dig:

“We have been left a litany of scandalous defence procurement decisions, which have racked up vast and unfunded liabilities, without delivering the type of equipment that our forces actually need…”

Whether or not this is true, there is no mention in the main report about what is going to be done to put right this procurement ‘failure’.   I have to say this is a pretty unreadable document (perhaps designed that way to fool the enemy?)  unless you enjoy this sort of thing:

“A strategy must reflex the context in which it is developed, the particular strengths and skills that we can bring to bear ( our areas of comparative advantage) ; be clear, but also flexible to take account of uncertainty and change. It must also take account of the activities of others: the positive contributions of allies and partners and of the private sector : and the negative effect of adversaries seeking to thwart our objectives. Therefore a strategy must also be based on creative insight into how best to achieve our own objectives and prevent adversaries from achieving theirs. It must balance the ends, ways and means. The ways and means by which we seek to achieve our objectives must be appropriate and sufficient and the objectives must also be realistic in light of the means available”.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christine Morton October 18, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Well, I have to say that at least your blog is much more readable, informative, and relevant!

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