Pub Debate – Manage Major Suppliers, Don’t Get Ripped Off!

We have what should be an enjoyable and interesting event planned for the end of this month.

But some background first - we’ve started going through the National Audit Office guidance “Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practicein some detail on our Public Spend Forum website. It is a very useful document, and as well as the detailed advice about all stages of the contracting and contract management process, it contains dozen of short case studies of public procurement projects. However, many of these are given as cautionary tales rather than positive examples.

Reading through those, it would be easy to get a little depressed when we think about the range of public sector projects involving suppliers which have not delivered, from the NHS IT programme to West Coast rail via a whole range of shared service failures. Sometimes, the buy-side is to blame - but how many of these can we really put down to suppliers performing badly, charging too much or just generally “ripping off the public sector”.

That’s the topic for our forthcoming Pub Debate with our friends from Basware on March 28th in the private room at the Clarence Pub, Whitehall, London (refreshments provided).  “This House believes that suppliers are still ripping off the government and the taxpayer” is the motion to be debated, and we have some knowledgeable and stimulating speakers lined up to argue for and against that proposition.

It should be both fun and interesting, and there will also be some concrete ideas about how the public sector can get even better at managing large contracts and suppliers. Allan Watton, one of our speakers, has done some tremendous work around recovering failing outsourcing contracts and is a good as anyone I have ever met at helping people get the most out of their major suppliers. Paul Clayton will be informative and somewhat controversial we suspect, and I will be … vaguely amusing is the intent anyway! And I might just be mentioning the salaries of some private sector CEOs …

More details are here where you will find the link to register. It will be 5.30 for a 6pm prompt start, formal event finishes at 7pm, then more drinks for those who want to hang around and network further.

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