Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from this Week

Public Spend Forum Europe is dedicated to European public sector procurement, and aims to be a global community and knowledge network for public procurement and the public sector market. Around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. So here is a roundup of what we were discussing this week.

UK Department May Have Broken Procurement Rules With "Interesting" Evaluation Criteria

The Department for International Trade, created last year to manage new trade deals as the UK moves out of the EU, advertised for a contractor to work as a “Trade Remedies Discovery Team”. What has caused the fuss is that one of the evaluation criteria with a 15% weighting was given as “cultural fit”. That was defined by a number of elements, such as "committed to the best possible outcome for the United Kingdom following its departure from the European Union". Some think this is in breach of EU procurement rules, and our esteemed friend Albert Sanchez-Graells is one of them.

UK National Audit Office Report - Useful Guidance on Commercial Undertakings (Part 1)

The UK’s National Audit Office has issued a very useful document on commercial and contract management, with insights and emerging best practice. The guidance is aimed at both those involved in contracting – from senior executives to more hands-on practitioners – as well as those who take on contract management responsibilities. We will be dissecting its content over the next few weeks, covering commercial strategy, commercial capability, market management and sourcing, contract approach, contract management, contract lifecycle, and transition and termination.

Checking the Financial Health of Suppliers - Mitie Proves It's Not Easy

The past couple of years have not been a happy time for the large outsourced service providers who support the public sector in the UK and increasingly beyond. It has become clear that the problems are much wider than thought. Contracting authorities generally want to check the financial health of firms bidding for work, but if the Financial Reporting Council can’t see that a firm’s accounts are perhaps inaccurate, then how is the humble procurement manager in a local government or health organisation supposed to unravel and understand these complex matters?

Ever Considered an Alternative Approach to Traditional Tendering?

In this guest post, Kate Brown, Head of Procurement and Compliance at ESPO, the UK public-sector-owned professional buying organisation, highlights the advantages of frameworks in public buying generally. Frameworks offer a low-hassle and reduced-risk route to a vast range of products and services for public bodies, she says, and are an alternative to the traditional tender process, and one which is often overlooked. She explains why.

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