Afternoon Coffee: UK Gov’t Chooses BravoSolution, Seatless Airplanes, Massive Toyota Recall

"For the first time, we have achieved a detailed, accurate, and up-to-date reporting capability enabling visibility and control over spending across the whole of central government."
Government Procurement Service Tackles Spend under Management Using BravoSolution Spend Analysis -- While rising costs and budget pressures continue to dominate headlines, Government Procurement Service (an executive agency of the Cabinet Office) and BravoSolution, the spend analysis company, have achieved visibility of spend under management across the entire UK central government. The initiative is being developed to also track metrics such as proportion of spend with SMEs, and investigate other areas where goods and services could be collaboratively sourced.

"Airplanes are just a bloody bus with wings."
Hold On Tight. Seatless Airplanes Could Be Next. -- Airline safety regulations in the US, Europe and virtually everywhere else require passengers to be belted into seats for take-off and landing, but O'Leary disputed the need. "If there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seat belt won't save you." He added "We operate 1,500 flights a day. They don't come skidding in. This is a very routine, safe form of travel." The outspoken O'Leary also called regulators "plonkers," the ever-charming British slang for "idiots."

"The drought alone is expected to cut economic growth by up to 1 percentage point this year."
2012 May Rank As 2nd Most Disastrous Year Since 1980 -- With about six weeks remaining in the year, there have already been 11 natural disasters that have cost $1 billion or more in damage, bringing 2012 to second place on the list of top billion-dollar disaster years. The current record-holder is 2011, when there were 14 billion-dollar disasters. The widespread and intense drought -- which as of Nov. 6 still covered at least 60 percent of the lower 48 states -- and Hurricane Sandy are expected to go down in history as two of the most costly weather-related disasters since 1980.

"In a worst-case scenario the steering issue could see drivers lose control of the vehicle, while the water pump problem could render it inoperable."
Toyota recalls 2.77 million vehicles over water pump or steering problems -- Toyota on Wednesday announced a global recall of 2.77 million vehicles over water pump or steering problems, in the latest blow to the firm's reputation after a spate of earlier call backs. Japan's biggest automaker said there were no reported injuries or accidents, but it had received about 400 complaints in Japan over the pump issue and a handful about the steering problem. The firm last month issued a huge global recall of 7.43 million vehicles, including its popular Camry and Corolla models, over a possible fire risk tied to a fault in its electric windows. Rivals Honda and Nissan have also announced recalls in the past year. Toyota's latest call back involves a number of vehicles manufactured between August 2000 and December 2011, including its popular Prius hybrid, which suffered from one or both of the defects, it said.

- Sheena Moore

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