Procurement news – September 3rd

Not such a pleasant taste; Compass fall out with mid-Essex Hospital Trust

Compass, the catering firm, is suing Mid Essex Hospital Services National Health Trust  hospital for imposing unreasonable contractual penalties, the Telegraph reports.

"Compass claims it was fined over £46,320 for supplying a box of out-of-date ketchup sachets, £84,540 for a chocolate mousse three days past its use by date and £22,612 because a spoon was found to be holding open a fire door."

I'd like to know more about this; one interesting point is that Compass appear to be saying that because the hospital agreed to reduce the penalty charges from £700K to £191K last September, this in itself showed that the Trust had "systematically made unreasonable and/or unjustified deductions".  Which of course suggests that if you ever get into such a situation as the buyer, you might be better off refusing to budge.  Conceding and being reasonable may weaken your case later! (But of course we don't know what the final outcome will be here).

Is this OGC.RIP?

All Office of Government Commerce email addresses change this Friday from the 'ogc' domain to a standard 'cabinet office' domain.  OGC moved from Treasury into the Cabinet Office shortly after the election, so this may be no more than an IT convenience.  Or it might signify the end of a separate identity for the organisation?  As Ian Watmore moves into day 3 of his new role, we await key decisions...

UP IN THE CLOUDS

Ariba have made avaiable (subject to free registration) a Gartner report about cloud-based supply chain solutions.  It's based on a survey of 130 organisations and doesn't contain a whole lot of analysis beyond the results of the survey, but its worth reading if you're interested in this topic.

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