World Procurement News from South Africa, the USA…and the Isle of Man

Augusta Procurement: Pedantic or Proper?

The Augusta Procurement Department is under fire for taking a highly pedantic view to tenders; but allegedly applying this inconsistently. As the Augusta Chronicle reports, the Department rejected a bid because of a clerical error.

The bid was deemed noncompliant because the company accidentally wrote the wrong code on a line on an affidavit.

In another case, reported here, a bid was rejected because the supplier "didn't twice date the subcontractor's affidavit". Disqualifying bidders for reasons like this does seem a little harsh... most of us who have been involved in public procurement know the difference between a truly non-compliant bid and a small administrative error, I would like to think.  The other complaint, and a more serious one from a legal perspective I suspect, is that different suppliers were treated differently in similar cases.  If true, that will be hard to justify.

Can corruption in South African procurement be stopped?

The Times of South Africa reports on a huge problem for public procurement.

The minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, revealed last month in his medium-term budget that procurement and tender fraud amounting to a staggering R25-billion was under investigation in the public sector.

Experts will address this and other supply chain issues, at two events to be held in Midrand from November 16-18: the Public Sector Supply Chain Management Summit, and the Strategic Smart Sourcing and Cost Management Conference.  One of the key issues to be addressed here is what can be done to turn the tide against corruption.  One obvious answer is greater use of sourcing platforms that provide fully transparent audit trails of bids, evaluation processes and decisions.  And that's one of the reasons Intenda (one of our sponsors) has had such success in providing their eSourcing technology into a range of South African public sector organisations.  Sounds like there's still more opportunity!

The Isle of Man discovers collaborative procurement

The Government (and yes, the Isle of Man, off the west coast of Northern England does have its own Government...)  has a new co-ordinated approach to procurement.  isleofman.com reports:

A new procurement policy – which was announced by Treasury in May – has resulted in Manx Petroleums Ltd supplying ultra low sulphur diesel for a number of government departments through a single contract.  Before, the policy departments including Community Culture and Leisure, Health, Infrastructure and the Post Office bought their own.

This shows the natural tendency for people to want to 'do their own thing'.  Even somewhere as small and self-contained as the Isle of Man finds that an effort is necessary to drive collaboration!  Which may point to the challenge facing wider collaboration initiatives such as those in Whitehall currently...

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