Down the Procurement Cathedral (?) with riskmethods, Government Cloud, the Garden Bridge and Childish Gambino

So I planned to feature a nice picture of my very pleasant lunch with Laura Enny from supply chain risk specialists riskmethods.  But I totally forgot to take one ...  so you will have to suffer another picture of the amazing Lincoln Cathedral at 10 pm last night.  I'm here for an "edtech" event - we might have more on that next week ...


I was distracted when Laura arrived at the restaurant because she told me she had just waited for 2 hours to get through immigration at Heathrow; although she had come in from Munich she is a US citizen. She was very calm all things considered; I suspect I might have ended up punching someone. Anyway this is disgraceful in terms of how we treat visitors to the UK, whether business, family, tourists ... if we're going to thrive as an independent post-Brexit nation, we need to get issues like this sorted out. Come on Home Office, you don't have to make getting through our flagship airport a hugely stressful experience.


According to the Architects Journal, the chair of the GLA Oversight Committee has told London mayor Sadiq Khan he must act over the ‘fiasco’ of the Garden Bridge and has pointed the finger at Transport for London’s former MD of planning Richard de Cani, who as we reported played a significant role in the procurement process that chose Heatherwick and Arup as contractors for the bridge. He now works for Arup - that's all we're saying.


Growth in UK government spending on cloud computing appears to be slowing. An interesting article on the Register website, following their FOI requests, suggests that "the Ministry of Defence and the Land Registry are among organisations that look set to spend less on cloud services in 2017-18 than in 2016-17 ... Others including HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Digital have spent more than in the previous year, but high rates of growth appear to be a thing of the past". And unlike in most of the rest of the world, it is Microsoft’s Azure that’s the market-share leader with UK Gov rather than Amazon's AWS.


More on UK public procurement issues this week - rail franchising and the taking back of the East Coast line into public management, the National Audit Office report on Capita's work in the NHS, and a parliamentary report on the Carillion collapse. More to get into next week on all of those.


The most talked-about video for many years is Childish Gambino (multi-talented actor, writer, singer Donald Glover ) with This Is America. A cutting commentary on the US itself? Or on black and / or popular culture generally?  It is powerful stuff anyway and also it is good to see you can make "art" that gets a huge reaction without spending millions. Not cheap to make, I guess, but with only a few dancers, some cheap cars hired for a day or two and an empty warehouse ... and (by adding a touch of genius) you can create something pretty amazing. OK, a white horse as well ...

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