Down the Procurement Pub with Rain, the NHS, Andy Davies and Maisie Peters

Well, I made it, my two days and 110 miles of cycling went well, although weather was foul on Monday, constant rain, and the “highlight” was arriving at what looked like a bridge on the map (and was part of national cycle route 45) to find it was a small ferry across the Severn, which “doesn’t run on Mondays and wouldn’t run when river’s like this anyway” according to a local! (It was in full flow, to be fair, and looked pretty scary. But that meant about 5 miles extra cycling, in the rain).

We went through some of the most historic towns and cities in England, like Tewkesbury and Gloucester, although they don’t look their best in the rain. The picture above is Guy and I in the lunchtime pub in Tewksbury on Monday, looking suitably drowned / stressed.

In the second picture, post-bath, David Atkinson had cycled 30 miles from home to join us in the Gardener's Arms in Droitwich Spa on Monday evening, an excellent pub with home made pies. Chateau Impney (hotel) was an amazing place to stay that night for a very reasonable price too. Tuesday was much better, and we liked Bridgnorth in particular, then Guy and David continued on to Anglesey by Friday (today), but I had to come home Tuesday evening for the Basware conference on Wednesday.  More from Guy here anyway …

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We reported here on the interesting case of an NHS services provider – Central Surrey Health, a social enterprise – that was taking the commissioners to court over a consortium bid that had basically collapsed (the provider was no longer part of the consortium) – yet the commissioners intended to carry on and award the contract. We thought it sounded very dodgy behaviour by the commissioner and this week the court agreed with us. The contract suspension was maintained and there may be a full hearing to come, unless the commissioners come to their senses and get everyone round the table to sort it out. More here.

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We were delighted to discover that our good friend Andy Davies – previously director of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium, and one of the driving forces behind Electronics Watch – has got a new job. Delighted for him, as he told us it is really his “dream job”. At the end of the month, he takes up his position as Head of Procurement for the Natural History Museum. Not a huge role in terms of team size or spend, but think about what they must buy – it will be fascinating, I’m sure. And as Davies told us, “the Museum’s purpose is to promote awareness of the precarious position of the natural world. My goal will be to give it a responsible procurement policy and programme that befits that purpose”.

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Oh no, not another NHS procurement-related fraud. Yes, another internal manager, a project manager in this case, has been faking invoices and paying his own company as a supplier. We will report further probably on the case, but this week the two main defendants pleaded guilty, as £700K of building contracts were awarded fraudulently to the culprit’s firm, while the second defendant knew but was paid to keep quiet about it.  But for the moment, we just have to point out the “nominative determinism” at work here. Yes, the main man, who ripped off Powys Teaching Health Board, is …. Mark Evill!

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Sourcemap, a firm we wrote about here initially, that maps supply chains and looks to do social good, has given the apparel industry, manufacturers, and consumers worldwide unprecedented access to the factories making their clothes with the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) — an open, crowdsourced database of apparel facilities around the world. This is their largest open-source project to date, and the tool “creates a common and standardized resource of facility names and addresses that is completely free and easy to search. We expect the capabilities of the OAR will one-day create an industry where every article of clothing is traced to its source”. Hear, hear.

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We like to bring you new artists so you can impress your colleagues / children / lovers with your up to date knowledge of the contemporary music scene... so after last week's burst of English folk, today we have an 18 year-old young lady from Sussex who might turn out to be the British Sigrid or Lorde... Maisie Peters. Good voice, serious song-writing ability. Remember, just like Lady Gaga, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Wolf Alice, you read about her here first.

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