Down the Procurement Pub with GO Awards, Nancy Clinton, weird public sector stuff and Darlia

Somewhat last minute, I was invited to the Government Opportunities  Awards dinner on Wednesday at the Hilton Metropole, Birmingham, run by BiP Solutions.  I haven’t been to that event for many years, and whilst it is somewhat smaller than the CIPS SM Awards, it was a very enjoyable evening. The awards are entirely public sector, with strong representation from Councils, health organisations and the like. We’ll have a longer post all about it on Monday, but you can see the whole list of winners here. Well done to all of them.

This is one of my impressionistic photos of the evening, in which everyone's face has come out as a blank white blob. Bit like a scary Doctor Who episode, dontcha think?


NAncyThe super-observant amongst you may have spotted a new ‘author’ name on this morning’s first article. I’m pleased to say that Nancy Clinton has become part of our team – in a part-time capacity – here at Spend Matters UK/Europe.  We worked together years ago at the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, when she was an Editor for Dataquest, and after they merged with the Gartner Group, she took on senior editing and publishing roles in that business, ultimately as Head of Publishing for EMEA.

She’s been working in comms and PR more recently, and she’ll be doing some writing, editing, and marketing work for us. You may notice revolutionary changes in our social media strategy for instance (like we will have one!) I’m delighted to have her support and you will be seeing her name on articles on a regular basis here.


Talking of public sector... there are some strange things going on in UK public sector procurement at the moment. Multi-million pound single-tender consulting contracts being awarded by MOD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (and by the way, what’s going on with Andrew Manley, I wonder?). Complicated programmes awarded without competition to National Savings (Atos), when a perfectly good external market already exists.  Is there really a conspiracy to sell off the health service?  And some interesting stuff going on in Cabinet Office too. More on some of these at least next week. Are we into the pre-election madness already, I wonder? Part of that of course is the ‘get things done at all costs before May 2015’ syndrome.


Today’s musical treat comes from Manchester’s Darlia, with Animal Kingdom. It’s a catchy slab of pop-rock with cool guitar riffs, even a good old geetar solo, but there is a sweetness and energy in the vocals that keeps it fresh and current. No video yet, but you can listen to it here.

And if that was a bit mainstream, if you want a real video try talented, odd yet alluring Swedish songstress Lykke Li with ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone’. As logical beings, we might ask how you would love her like she WAS made of stone, but let’s not go there. She is a rare talent, if somewhat scary at times, and this is very different from most of her oeuvre which is in the pop / dance field. At 2:50 it gets very emotional, I should warn you. A prediction – this will be covered by someone and be a HUGE hit.



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  1. Secret Squirrel:

    Listen to that? Not Lykke Li….. (Sorry, couldn’t resist…..)

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