Dinner at RSJ….

Procurement Excellence is our consulting firm, and we work with a network of associates who are on the Office of Government Commerce ‘ERF’ framework, which gives OGC access to Gateway Reviewers and similar.

Anyway, we celebrated a year of being an ‘ERF’ supplier on Monday evening with 13 of us having dinner at RSJ restaurant in London.  And a quick plug for them – one of my very favourite restaurants in London and absolutely superb value for money (as well as an amazing Loire-based wine list).

The 13 included ex CPOs, CFOs, CIOs, ex senior civil servants; and a couple of slightly younger faces as well!  Some work pretty much full time as consultants and interims; some do less work and enjoy their other interests.  But all are pretty passionate about improving procurement and project management performance in the public sector; even more passionate after a couple of glasses of Chinon.

So we had a very interesting discussion before and over dinner around the prospects for the UK economy and what public procurement / project management could contribute to economic recovery.  We will put some of the thoughts into a ‘white paper’ shortly, but there were a couple of very strong themes.  Firstly, that ‘buying better’ or ‘running projects better’ is not going to be enough.  The next Government (of whatever type) will have to stop buying things and stop doing things. And that will be painful.  Secondly, that politicians and the public under-estimate the difficulty of reducing third party spend; it will be a challenge.  Suppliers are not going to just volunteer to cut prices out of the goodness of their hearts.  So some different approaches and different commercial skills to those that have been needed in the past may be essential.

Anyway, more to follow!

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