Down the Procurement Pub with the NAO, the MCA, ProZorro and Sam Lee

I did have one very entertaining evening this week, but I cannot compromise my friends by exposing their identities. Indeed, I still have not heard the full story about what happened after I got the train home … Anyway, the evening started in the Nell Gwynne public house, off the Strand, with a very enjoyable pint of Rhino, a “Quad Hopped amber ale – brewed with Challenger, Brambling Cross, Summit and Chinook hops. Balanced with a specialty German aromatic malt”, brewed by the Animal Brewing Co  ….

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We thought we might get round to it this week but failed; the new National Audit Office report on UK government commercial issues is very good, presented in a modern, innovative format (an "interactive pdf"), and containing lots of interesting material. It is a round-up really of recent NAO projects and findings in the procurement/ commercial space, so well worth a look. More next week on the report here anyway.

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I've been one of the judges for the last few years at the Management Consultancies Association annual awards. If you want to read some genuinely feel-good stories that might persuade you that much maligned industry can really do great work that helps clients and yes, even benefits humanity sometimes (!) then you can read about the winning projects in the Times supplement, published yesterday - or here's a link to a soft copy if you missed that - The Times Supplement - MCA Awards 2016

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ProZorro is Ukraine’s new government eSourcing platform, which it hopes will combat corruption. Perhaps the most interesting thing, according to the Wall Street Journal is that ProZorro was built by “volunteers from civil society on open source software”. It cost about $780,000, with roughly half going towards software development, and “Open Contracting Partnership, a non-profit organization, provided support to develop ProZorro’s software that is based on the open contracting data standard”. Fascinating – we will have more on this next week on our Public Spend Matters Europe site.

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This is a spine-tingling performance from the recent 2016 Folk Awards at London's Albert Hall. This is Sam Lee, who won the "Best Traditional Track" for this song, Lovely Molly, singing here with the Roundhouse Choir. He just has an amazing voice and the arrangement is beautiful; if this doesn't move you at least a little, then you probably need to check for the whereabouts of your soul.

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