Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from this Week

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Public Spend Forum Europe is dedicated to European public sector procurement, and aims to be a global community and knowledge network for public procurement and the public sector market. Around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. So here is a roundup of what we were discussing this week. If you find anything interesting, please click through to the full article:

Public Sector Open Book Contracting - Guidance For Non-Critical Contracts

The topic of open book contracting is a complex, confusing yet important issue. It is one of those ideas that sounds simple at first. The basic idea is that the buyer can see the supplier’s finances, in particular the costs of carrying out the contracted work for the purchasing organisation. But once you move beyond that simple concept, matters rapidly get complex. What exactly is the information that is going to be shared? How do we verify that data and information is true and accurate? And perhaps most importantly, even if we believe the numbers, what do we actually do with the information we get?

Lowest Price Technically Acceptable - The Pendulum Swings

In Europe, recent procurement regulations push firmly towards the “most economically advantageous” method for selecting bids and suppliers. Contracting authorities can choose the lowest priced bid, but the consensus has been that we should look at a range of evaluation factors to choose the bid that offers wider “value”. Basically, that means a contract can be given to a company that does not offer the lowest price if the higher-priced proposal provides greater economic advantage or “value benefit.” A chat with our friend in Washington DC, Raj Sharma, founder of Public Spend Forum, on some of the developments in US public sector procurement, brought up the topic of “lowest price technically acceptable” - we discuss.

Public Spend Forum Best Practices Exchange Hits London

Last week, we held the kick-off meeting for the Public Spend Forum Best Practices Exchange in the UK.  The Exchange has been a feature of the Public Spend Forum programme in the USA for a year or more now, one of the elements of the PSF initiative launched by Raj Sharma and his team. We are supporting their efforts in the UK and in time, perhaps more widely in Europe. In the US, the Exchange has brought together a group of senior public sector procurement executives for face-to-face meetings to discuss major issues and define a research agenda for Public Spend Forum to develop. So last week our aim was to start something similar in the UK.

Public Procurement Podcasts - Pedro Telles Talks to Warren Smith on the Government Digital MarketPlace

Pedro Telles as part of the public procurement podcasts spoke with Warren Smith, Director, Digital Marketplace, part of the Government Technology in the UK Government Digital Service. He is currently transforming the way the public sector commissions products and services "by thinking small about big problems, and thinking big about small successes." They talk about the digital marketplace and what it is trying to achieve, with examples of changes and simplifications that have been made to procedures and contracts, and the correlation between those changes and increasing the participation of SMEs in public procurement.

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