Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from this Week

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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. If you find anything interesting, please click through to the full article:

Trade-offs in Public Procurement - Leverage versus the Needs of the Customer

We are talking about the trade-offs we see in the public sector -- whether that is the balance between "policy through procurement" initiatives and more basic value for money, or the trade-off between flexibility and anti-corruption-based processes. Today we look at leverage and aggregation versus the needs of the customer, budget holder or end user, and suggest some steps that public procurement professionals can take to minimise the potential for real issues and conflicts.

Fraud in the USA - Chicken Restaurants and IT Supplier "Bribes"

A US government employee has been arrested and charged for using his position as head of operational systems at the Bureau of Industry and Security to steer a contract to a particular businessman in exchange for bribes --  he received $208,000 in payment. Most of the money went not to him but to his chicken restaurants. We have outlined four points that seem to us to have wider implications.

Small Suppliers and Public Contracts – a Happy Ending to their Stories, We Hope

Smaller suppliers have traditionally been reluctant to bid for public sector business, mostly owing to the complexity of the systems that weight it towards large companies. So, we were interested to see one initiative that came to our attention at the end of last month -- an encouraging story for some small suppliers and we hope it will be a benchmark for others. It concerns a pioneering pilot scheme related to the local provision of school produce. The story goes like this ...

Nuclear Court Case - Be Careful How You Use Dis-qualifying Thresholds in Tenders

Energy Solutions Ltd. were the incumbent supplier for a huge contract to clean up de-commissioned nuclear power stations, but they lost the tender to Babcock Fluor consortium and a challenge followed. There are many interesting aspects to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case, especially around the evaluation of the respective bids from the challenging firm and the successful bidder. The  court case is likely to become a much-quoted example of case law for public procurement legal challenges by unsuccessful bidders. We explain ...

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