Spend Matters UK/Europe News Round-Up

The Euro, procurement risk and should we listen to the experts? -- We thought we were being quite brave saying back in April that procurement should be on the lookout for Black Swan events like these: Will the Eurozone collapse with some countries going their own way and back to local currencies? Might countries default on their debts? We thought these were extreme ideas – now it looks like we were perhaps overly optimistic.. So, when we're looking forward, what can we learn from the recent past?

A post about managing contingent labour spend... and lapdancers... -- Over the last few years, there has been increased focus on organisations trying to avoid their obligations to staff by re-classifying people as independent contractors rather than employees. This can help the employee get out of paying certain taxes (National Insurance in the UK for instance) and also avoid costs related to sick pay, maternity or sickness benefits, or pension costs. It may also protect against action for unfair treatment of staff – dismissal, bullying or discrimination for instance.

Guardian latest on MOD consulting spend – Spend Matters reported it in August -- The news, broken by the Guardian following FOI requests, about MOD spending money on consultants from budgets meant for equipment wasn't a huge shock. In fact, we might claim it was our exclusive. After our expose on the Alix Partners contract, we had heard that MOD was "concealing" consulting spend. In our Sherlock Holmes spoof back in August we featured this from an anonymous email we'd received...

Lots of good stuff from UK government on procurement, and some concerns as well -- Although we wrote about the government announcements on procurement on both Sunday and Monday, and we don't want to bore you rigid, there is a lot of content to consider in the full material now released. We need some time to digest the various speeches and accompanying material, so we'll come back with a more considered view in a few days.

Thailand Hard Disk Drive production – cost and supply implications -- Our friend at Probrand, Iain Bowles, who knows more about IT supply chain issues than anyone we've ever met, writes about the effect of the recent floods in Thailand. As Thailand starts the recovery process and takes stock of the worst flooding on record, the supply of Hard Disk Drives (HDD) is forecast to become difficult and expensive. And the global impact is forecast to be significant shortages of this vital product in the first quarter of 2012 as the disaster hits the manufacturing supply chain.

Sheena Moore

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