Procurement News: September 10th

NPfIT DOESN'T FIT ANY LONGER...

It has gone with a whimper rather than a bang, but the Register reports that the NHS national IT programme is finally, officially, dead.  Will this sound the death knell for huge, national public sector IT programmes?  I'm not so sure. In some areas - tax and benefits for instance - it is hard to see how else new systems and programmes can be managed, despite the talk of breaking up Government IT contracts into smaller pieces.  But NPfIT does demonstrate the difficulty (impossibility) of imposing an IT solution on a disparate and huge bunch of stakeholders without any effort to get their buy in up front, which was what Labour Ministers (up to and including Blair) did, ably assisted by Richard Grainger and his team,  Grainger proved that you could let large public sector IT contracts very quickly.  You just couldn't do it quickly AND get stakeholder buy-in / a firm definition of requirements in that compressed period.  Unfortunately those flaws haunted the programme to its dying day, although some of the applications developed have proved useful (less clear whether their procurement has offered VFM though).  Here's the full Department of health announcement.

THE POLITICS OF PROCUREMENT

An interesting piece by Dominic Campbell in the Telegraph, which looks at public procurement in a very strategic sense in terms of how well it meets the policy goals of Ministers.He believes there should be more 'bottom up' involvement of the market in defining solutions.  Not sure I agree with everything he says but thought provoking certainly.

"Politicians and management alike need to let go, to accept they may not have all the answers but by working with colleagues, suppliers and citizens they may be able to develop and deliver solutions to problems better than ever before".

CHINA PROMISES TO PLAY FAIR....

China intend to open up their public procurement to foreign companies, with greater protection for intellectual property, reports MarketWatch.

Commerce Minister Chen Deming said during an interview with the state-run Xinhua news agency late Tuesday that the government is addressing the issue. "In the future, areas where foreign companies are more concerned, in indigenous innovation, government procurement, the protection of intellectual property rights and so on, will be further improved,"

I guess the phrase "I'll believe it when I see it" comes to mind.

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