Procurement the Italian way

The papers reported last week that Silvio Berlusconi was allegedly supplied young women to attend his parties by firms looking to win government contracts. Here's the Telegraph:

In documents filed on Thursday, prosecutors said Mr Tarantini, a convicted drug dealer, supplied the women to 25 parties in Milan, Rome and Sardinia in 2008 and 2009 in the hope of winning favour with Mr Berlusconi and obtaining lucrative contracts with state-owned organisations.

I can honestly say, that never happened to me when I was Procurement Director at the UK government's Department of Social Security.

It did make me wonder though. Do we all have a price? I'd always be cautious about saying anyone is incorruptible - personally, I've always felt that no amount of money would be enough to make me give up my basic moral principles, but would there be something else that could? Particularly if we move out of the realms of reality...

If that stationery firm had said to me, "give us the contract and you will magically become the best golfer in the world?"  Or, "make sure the evaluation process works in our favour and you can be the Bass player in Arcade Fire..."

You get the idea.  Angelina Jolie or George Clooney may feature in some of your thoughts.

Anyway, it is hard to imagine most British politicians - or indeed Angela Merkel - engaging in the sort of parties Berlusconi is said to have enjoyed. And for that, we should be thankful...

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Voices (2)

  1. Jonathan Webb:

    Interesting that you should pick up on the stationery supplier example.

    Many of those that I have dealt with the past send along with the order a box of sweets or chocolates for the staff to enjoy. So which company does the officer manager pick….?

    As you say: We all have a price.

  2. Jason Busch:

    Silvio clearly did not have a Jane (or Lisa) waiting to emasculate him after he was caught … though one does one wonder how he made his selections at the parties and what weighting he might have used to judge the “vendors” based on their various attributes. Also, the complexity of this goes deeper. It really was a multi-tier sourcing selection given the various parties involved … OJEU compliant? Perhaps …

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