Mid-Week Procurement News RoundUp

We're starting a short, sharp weekly news roundup of the smaller stories you may, or may not, have come across in your busy procurement week. The aim is not, on this occasion, to provide you with Spend Matters opinion, insight or analysis, but to bring you quick access to the market intelligence you may have missed or just don't have the time to curate for yourself. So here's our roundup of the interesting, useful or just plain 'ought-to-know-about' private and public-sector procurement stories we've found over this past week.*

Speed Read:

Schools Paying Supply Teacher Transfer Fees – What the Law Says

“Like any commercial entity, a school is subject to public procurement rules and at liberty to contract with other parties on the best terms it can negotiate.” Schools say contingent workforce agencies can charge them thousands of pounds if they offer a supply teacher a permanent contract – even when full recruitment process is followed. So Schools Week has published an article looking into what the law says, and offers advice on avoiding ‘transfer’ fees and adopting a recruitment policy.

An Update on the Horse Meat Scandal

The Guardian this week reports that a London businessman has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud customers by adding horsemeat to batches of beef and relabelling them as pure beef. Two other men had already pleaded guilty. All three will be sentenced next week. The prosecutor said that the fraud was simple. “In 2012, beef sold for around €3 [£2.60] a kilogram at wholesale prices. Horsemeat was cheaper. At the time, it sold for around €2 [£1.75] a kilogram.” Money was thus made by selling the mix as 100% beef.

Oxygen Finance Poised For Growth

The successful completion of parent company TruFin’s IPO on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange sets Oxygen Finance up for growth. Oxygen Finance works with public- and private-sector businesses to improve the operational effectiveness of their purchase-to-pay systems and helps them to deliver against social value objectives.

Malaga politician accused of siphoning public money

A vice-president of the conservative Popular Party in Malaga and leader of the Association of Western Costa del Sol Municipalities, allegedly misused funds from 2011-2014. She made personal use of public money by using ‘blank cheques’ to pay for more than €6,000 worth of expensive meals on her days off plus another €7,000 of ‘dubious expenses,’ – says Euro Weekly. She has also sparked outrage for allegedly siphoning cash from bank accounts of both her party and the association.

BT innovation competition to boost digital public services

Are you an SME with expertise in machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence? Do you have an innovation idea that could help boost digital public services, defence or retail? Launched in partnership with the Cabinet Office and TechHub, BT is running a competition for companies to submit (in video format) their innovation ideas. Entries close March 12th.

Vision Gelpack awarded position on procurement framework

Bin liner manufacturer, Vision Gelpack, a Hereford-based firm, has been awarded a position on ESPO's 860 framework - a collaborative procurement system used by six local authorities to help others to aggregate their procurement demands to achieve cost savings. "... schools and academies, police and emergency services, local councils, local NHS trusts and similar public bodies can purchase UK manufactured products in the knowledge that they are EU/UK compliant and that ESPO has already conducted a full assessment of Vision Gelpack's financial stability, track record, experience and technical and professional capabilities," said the MD.

Further Government investment in self-driving vehicle schemes

A “£22.4m investment brings the total number of government funded R&D projects in self-driving vehicles to 73, in a portfolio worth around £180m with over £120m of government grants,” writes Transport Network. Autonomous valet parking and driverless Mobility as a Service (MaaS) schemes have won part of the £20m of government funding for 22 connected and autonomous vehicle R&D projects expected to shape the future of UK transport. The Government has also confirmed it will be launching further competitions later this year worth up to £45m.


*Depending on 'procurement-world' events, we can't promise this will appear exlusively on a Wednesday, but we'll make every effort to do so. Look out for our tweets @spendmattersuk for a quick link to when it's published.


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First Voice

  1. Sam Unkim:

    Vision Gelpack

    Bin liners, they would be better making Disposable Aprons

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