Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week

Public Spend Forum is dedicated to public sector procurement, everywhere, and aims to be a global community and knowledge network for improving public procurement and the public sector market - that's why Public Spend Forum Europe has joined them. In Europe alone, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by governments and public sector bodies. Worth doing well, you might consider.

Part of the PSF site is dedicated to Europe-related issues, and that is where you will find our articles and news stories from this week. It will require a one-off, quick registration to view them. Please join us.

UK MOD - Many Of The Issues That Have Always Driven Complexity In Military Acquisition Still Stand

Recent coverage in the UK press criticises the Ministry of Defence for their purchase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter plane. It is largely a US designed and manufactured plane, although BAE Systems is a significant sub-contractor and produces the aircraft tails in the UK. The  F-35 programme has suffered from considerable cost overruns and delays. It is now the most expensive weapons project in history at over $1 trillion, and President Trump called it “out of control”. The Times now claims that the cost of each plane for the UK has escalated from around £100 million to around £150 million because of “extras” -  items such as software upgrades, spare parts and “cost reduction initiatives” which were “buried in US defence contracts and have not been included in the published figures”. Many of the issues that have always driven complexity in military acquisition still stand today - in fact we wrote a series of articles on this back in 2010 - read more here.

Public Procurement Podcasts – Interviewing The Interviewer, On Low-Value Contracts

This is the last in a series of articles over the past 12 months covering all of the Public Procurement Podcasts (PPP) carried out by Dr Pedro Telles, Senior Lecturer in Law at Swansea University. Over the year he interviewed a selection of leading academics, researchers and graduates from around Europe who have an interesting viewpoint on aspects of public sector procurement. In this the last of the podcasts, Dr Pedro Telles turns the interview on himself and gives a final podcast on his own thoughts about some of the subjects raised during his interviews. To begin, he talks about low-value contracts, something he has been writing about for the past few years, to unearth his thoughts about their importance in the near-term picture of public procurement regulation.

NAO on Commercial & Contract Management – Ensure Shared Understanding (of the Contract)

We are looking at the content of the UK’s National Audit Office's  very useful document “Commercial and contract management: insights and emerging best practice”. Today we take a look at number 12 of the insights – “Design performance measures that work”. Without relevant and workable measures, NAO says, “business outcomes may fail or perverse incentives may be created”.  And in their experience, they “rarely” see measures working as intended, which is a real concern of course. NAO also sees clients who are happy when measures are not being met (which suggests the measures weren’t appropriate) and other clients unhappy when they are met (the same problem)! Here we give some additional analysis.

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