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. 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 summaries below.

New International Standard For Responsible Procurement – LUPC First To Get Assessed

A new International Standard for sustainable procurement best practice – ISO 20400. Since 2013, experts and industry bodies from more than 40 nations, including Europe, USA, Canada, Central and South America, Australia, Japan, China, Africa and others, have contributed to its development to make it the first international standard for sustainable procurement. Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) is the first to take on the assessment in the UK public sector and education sector globally - read here how it fared.

UK Government Framework Raises Questions About Public Sector Spend Aggregation And Centralisation

The problems over the UK central government consulting services framework raise some wider questions about the whole strategy of aggregating spend and centralisation of public sector procurement. The most important “lot” within the framework, for general business consulting, was due to be awarded but Crown Commercial Service announced that the award would not be made. This is very damaging for the credibility of CCS and has cost the industry side a considerable amount of time, resource and money. The wider question though is whether trying to put in place such huge contracts to satisfy such a wide range of budget holders and stakeholders makes the whole process virtually unmanageable.

Maintaining Openness And Competition In Multi-Stage Programmes

A little while back, we looked at a procurement issue in the UK where a competition run by the Arts Council of England (ACE) appears to have run into trouble. While all the facts are not yet clear, it looks like it may be because of a perception that the procurement has not been run with a “level playing field”. The question then becomes this - how then can we engage with the market and carry out research, pilot schemes or similar, while keeping that sense of fairness (and staying within the regulatory envelope)? Here are ideas that ACE might have considered and could have enabled them to run a fair competition.


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