Public Spend Forum Europe – Public Procurement Highlights from This Week

Public Spend Forum is dedicated to public sector procurement, 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 – follow the links in the titles below.


Arts Council England "Metrics" Procurement Runs Into Problems

Arts Council England is a public sector organisation that “invests public money to make great art that has an impact on everyone’s lives”.  It takes around £400 million a year from the government and the national lottery and awards it to top museums, galleries, arts festivals, dance companies and other artistic bodies.

It is not an organisation that has ever featured in our procurement landscape up to now, but it has now. The Arts Professional website (whose reports on this topic are very impressive) reported last month that the “invitation to tender for implementing Arts Council England’s (ACE) controversial ‘Quality Metrics’ system for quantifying the quality of art has been suspended, having apparently failed to abide by European procurement legislation”.  We look in more detail at where ACE may have run foul of procurement legislation – and indeed, procurement good practice.


Impact of Brexit on UK Procurement – A General Overview

Nancy Clinton picked up on an article published in the “Raconteur” procurement supplement which looked at various issues round Brexit. For instance, a guest contributor from Gowling WLG law firm says this: “Every supply chain is international.  Even if the supplier is local, the components and raw materials will almost certainly come from somewhere else. And Brexit will impact international trade – the impact of tariffs, the impact of cross-border hassle and delays, and also the non-tariff barriers, for instance the local regulations that impact products”. There will also be more pressure on finding strong procurement talent, Nancy notes.


Unrealistic Assumptions on Social Value Benefits Mar Scape Group Report

Scape Group is a UK public-sector organisation, owned by six local authorities. The organisation offers a suite of fully managed frameworks, property services, innovative design solutions, community investment opportunities and joint ventures that are available to any public body in the United Kingdom. It also looks to facilitate socio-economic development in the local community.

All good and worthy aims. But their recent “Better Procurement” report on public procurement combines some sensible ideas with one major flaw, which will frustrate anyone who thinks about economics and business. Their assumption about how much “social value” suppliers can provide, without apparently any cost, is totally unrealistic. We explain why in our article.

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