Down the Procurement Pub with Conference Week, NAO and Air Traffic

Well, the pub was before the gig (pictured here). A remarkedly deserted John Salt bar in Upper Street, Islington with Jane and Guy Allen, ex CPO and Real World procurement collaborator, for very decent Beavertown Neck Oil IPA and pub grub, then on to the (Grade 2 listed, classic exterior, art deco features, 1920s)  Islington Assembly Hall for the first time ever – what a great venue! About 900 capacity, we were there early so got the front row of the balcony / circle, really quite close to stage. More below …

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National Audit Office published their investigation into the Magnox nuclear de-commissioning contract disaster, which led to around £100 million being paid out to unhappy suppliers after a procurement was deemed illegal by the courts. Spend Matters and Public Spend Forum covered the procurement failings and issues extensively at the time – for example, here. We will have more to say on this next week, but if you fancy some light reading over the weekend, the NAO report is fascinating and more than a little disturbing.

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I’m getting ready for next week’s trip to Madrid with BravoSolution, then I’m hosting Sheena Smith from Spend Matters USA at the end of the week. She is over to attend the Coupa and Basware events with my college here in the UK Nancy Clinton. Do say “hi” to the ladies if you’re at either of those events  – and hi to me if you are in Madrid! And hello to David Smith if you are at the Bloom event in Manchester…  or hi guys to Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell and Raj Sharma at the PSF tech event in Washington DC. Also hello to all our friends who will be at the CIPS and ProcureCon events next week too … (phew)!

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The Dilbert cartoon series from Scott Adams is running a thread at the moment where Dilbert acknowledges his lack of negotiating skills, and tries to improve them. But if you can’t negotiate, how do you persuade your boss to pay for a negotiating course?  There is more here, and I suspect we will be seeing some of this weeks’ cartoons popping up in procurement conference presentations for years to come!

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So the gig in Islington mentioned above was the final night of the Air Traffic reunion tour. One of the many bands who launched with a very good first album then never really followed it up, they were a favourite of ours ten years ago.  Based on the love for them the other night, perhaps they should come back and do that second album with their tuneful keyboard-based indie. This is perhaps their best song.

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