Down the Procurement Pub with Serco, G4S, our competition and Young Hunting

A strange pic taken whilst watching Sunderland beat Chelsea, in a pub through my glass of Greene King IPA...

The UK Government announced yesterday that Serco will pay back £68.5M for overcharging on Ministry of Justice contracts. “This figure is reimbursement for money owed on the electronic monitoring contract and for other costs incurred, including the cost of investigating these matters. It also includes £4.2 million which will be set against future costs for the transition to new electronic monitoring arrangements”.

The long-awaited report into all the G4S and Serco contracts across government was also published. We’ll look at this in more detail next week (no, its not Christmas just yet..) but the headlines don’t appear too far away from our predictions. No systemic fraud (or incompetence even) on the part of the suppliers, weaknesses in contract management processes, and a greater role suggested for Crown Commercial Services.

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Final call - any more entries for our competition, with prizes including a copy of my book (at least)! Two possible themes for entries - firstly, how have you used your procurement skills to benefit your  everyday life effectively? Or, alternatively, how have you failed utterly to use those skills (you got out-negotiated by a six year old, that sort of thing). We have had a few good entries - see here - with Wendy B probably leading the field with her excellent wedding planning ( reminiscent  of our own Sheena Moore's approach, you may recall).

Anyway, entries close on Christmas Eve and we will have the results on January 2nd.

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We will be slowing down on the new writing over the next two weeks, but not stopping entirely, except maybe on the 25th / 26th December and January 1st. We will be featuring some "best of Spend Matters" posts to keep you entertained, but we will keep our eye on the news and events as well. It is not unusual for corporate events to happen just before the New Year of course, so you never know.

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And tomorrow we will start our top 40 albums of the year run down. Expect the expected and the unexpected. We will have our numbers 40-30 tomorrow, then another ten albums running every day down to the top ten on Christmas Eve! Find out if I am prepared to risk the wrath of all my hip, credible and indie friends by making Tegan & Sara my number one...

And if you think some of my favourites are somewhat obscure, then do check out the excellent Alphabet Sounds website top tracks / albums list for tips from someone much deeper into obscure material - in a good way!  I'm going to enjoy checking out his list over the holidays, but as an example of the gems he has suggested, here is something from his number 4 album of the year. The band is Young Hunting with Maze from the album Hazel – lovely stuff.

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