Down the Procurement Pub with Opso, the NHS, Mystery Man and Audio-Tonic

Last week we featured Jason Busch over here and today another picture from his flying visit last week - this time he is with Ian Savage of Bloom Procurement Services. We had dinner at Opso, a modern Greek tapas type restaurant near Baker Street , which was very good.  Their Skordalia - an olive oil and garlic spread with toasted walnuts - was just one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten in my life ...


We wrote here about the Surrey and Virgin Care legal case and the lack of transparency in what went wrong with contracting process. Now we hear that a Nottingham Treatment Centre has had to delay awarding the contract to run the Centre and continue with the current supplier Circle Healthcare for another year, because of a challenge from Circle to the procurement process. Again, we don’t know the details, or what went wrong, so how can the NHS learn from these examples? Are we destined to make the same mistakes again and again because no-one will talk about the problems?


The UK Parliamentary Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee met this week to talk about sourcing of public services, the collapse of Carillion and lessons to be learnt from it. But weirdly, it started by the committee quizzing Cabinet Office Minister, David Liddington; John Manzoni, Civil Service CEO and Gareth Rhys Williams, government’s Chief Commercial Officer, on their views around whether the Home Office knows what it’s doing following the Windrush affair and the role of civil servants.  Literally as we write this, we’re diligently sitting through this so we can bring you news next week of anything remotely interesting that was eventually said about procurement.


Our spies tell us that a mysterious figure from the procurement past was recently spotted arriving at a UK airport … They only managed to get this snatched photograph, but this legendary figure once, according to the elders of our tribe, ruled over much of the public sector procurement universe before being exiled to the colonies some years ago. So what can this sighting mean?

Watch this space…


Audio-Tonic prove that white boys can do reggae and dub (just like people of colour can and do make great country singers!). They’re from around Reading, the singer’s dad is an old colleague of mine, but personal interest aside, I can say hand on heart that their debut album, Dreamland, is great – it’s for anyone who likes the edgier side of UB40, Big Audio Dynamite, the Chili Peppers when they get into their reggae-influenced vibe (thanks to Jane for spotting that reference), and generally tuneful but tough reggae/dub. Buy it direct from the band and support independent music!

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Voices (2)

  1. Believe in Miracles:

    COME BACK TO CCS DAVID SHIELDS!!!!! Please, please, apply for the CEO job!

  2. Secret Squirrel:

    Would love to see the mystery man back in public sector purchasing. Might even have me thinking of a return.

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