Procurement news; technology, helicopters, and how sustainable are your cucumbers?

TradingPartners announce new MD

TradingPartners, a "full service" reverse auction solution provider, announced today that Mark Barnekow has taken over as CEO. Marc Halpin stood down as CEO just before Christmas and Kennet Partners, the private equity firm who own TradingPartners, have moved quickly to appoint what looks like an impressive replacement.  Jason has more comment here, and we hope to be talking to Mark shortly about his plans.  As a 'pure' e-auction firm, TradingPartners are in an interesting position, as competitors such as Emptoris and Ariba increasingly offer auctions as part of a much wider range of products and services. But TradingPartners still have considerable 'brand awareness' in the procurement community, which is a real strength. So some interesting challenges for Mark.

Helicopter contract stalls..

We reported this a couple of weeks ago - but the MOD and Department of Transport have now confirmed officially that the award of the search and rescue helicopter contract has been suspended. As the BBC reported;

The process of procuring search and rescue helicopters has been suspended after "irregularities" emerged in the bidding process to find a supplier. It comes after the preferred supplier, Soteria, admitted it had access to commercially sensitive information. The Department for Transport and Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the preferred supplier would not be used.  MoD Police are investigating how commercially sensitive information came to be in the possession of the bidder.

Yes indeed! How did it come to be in the possession of the bidder? You don't think money might have been involved??

How sustainable are your cucumbers?

Is this the beginning of a sustainable procurement backlash or just a Dutch one-off? DutchNews.nl features a report in De Telegraaf.

The ruling right-wing Liberals VVD and alliance partner PVV want to end official policy of making sure the government and all government bodies only buy sustainable products such as coffee and office furniture, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday. The parties say the policy is costing €500m in administration and extra costs a year. ‘The policy is bankrupt,’ VVD MP René Leegte told the paper. ‘Sustainable purchasing primarily means expensive.’

For instance, purchasing managers require a certain timber certification; but sustainable timber from Sweden isn't allowed because it has a different certification.  An even more interesting example is given in the original Telegraaf piece. Organic food is specified by government buyers; but no attention is paid to the mode of transportation (food miles) or whether the cucumbers and peppers were grown natuarllay or in heated greenhouses (carbon reduction).

Interesting; I feel a series of articles coming on....

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