Readers’ comments from last week on Spend Matters

We take a look at your comments on our articles from last week

Civil Service pay – a barrier to improving procurement and commercial performance in the UK government sector?

There is increasing noise suggesting that pay restraints are affecting the performance of the UK Civil Service.

Dan said:

“It’s not just pay – look at the hammering that public procurement gets in the media that the private sector simply doesn’t have to put up with. Remember the ‘enemies of enterprise’ furore? In many ways it’s a thankless role.”

We also had a comment from ‘October’, which you can read more about here

Supplier Diversity – opportunities for practical procurement action

An introduction to looking at the actions and behaviours needed to encourage a diverse (but appropriate) supplier base

Justin Lambert said:

“The business case you outline should be compelling for any company in the UK no matter their size. To make Supplier Diversity part and parcel of good Inclusive Sourcing then understanding your customer is a great starting point, looking forward to more on this subject.”

Keep an eye out for more to come around this topic.

Max Clapsa agreed with us:

“I thoroughly agree. From my narrow point of view of government IT purchasing decisions, I blogged about this today. Rationalizing suppliers is necessary to reduce costs, but eliminating all diversity can negatively impact public sector departments’ and agencies’ service innovation.”

(Here is the blog Max refers to)

Licence to Practice – CIPS Congress doesn’t seem too positive

We discuss the ‘licence to Practice’ policy - what Congress thinks, and if they’re even involved enough anymore.

Lionel J. Botch doesn't support the idea:

“CIPS Congress doesn’t seem too positive, why should they be different from anyone else? No one I have spoken to thinks this is in any way a good idea. And even if it was it is hardly practical on any level.

As you have previously stated, there are far more questions than answers. Simple things like: what sectors does this cover? Who needs to be licensed? Will it be everyone or is it based on position or spend?

But importantly, what constitutes a license? A membership of the institute is not a qualification in itself, but is granted as a result of doing something, most commonly the completion of the Professional Diploma. So does everyone need to have a Professional Diploma from CIPS to have a licence? Really, to place a £20 stationery order I need to have passed 15 exams?

Also will any other qualification from another awarding body be taken into consideration?

For what it is worth I think this will drift away and the focus firmly placed on the Chartered Membership as it seems a far easier task to promote and administer.”

Trevor Black - a member of CIPS Congress isn't happy either:

“As a member of CIPS Congress I recognise that there is a global demand to raise the standards of the profession and Congress should have been used to debate the widely publicised issues. I am aware that many colleagues on Congress share my view that the way in which the “Licence to Practice” issue has been rolled out to be a disaster and the future of Congress is in doubt. It has been insulting to Congress members and a PR disaster. For an organisation that is supposed to be a leading light in the commercial world, this simply isn’t good enough.”

Phoenix thinks CIPS is too preoccupied with trying to make some money:

“None of us who campaigned to protect a wider representative member body for CIPS with executive authority will be surprised to see the toothless Congress bypassed and ignored. CIPS is now primarily a consultancy business with little interest in advancing the professional development and status of its members, unless there’s a buck in it. We predicted this outcome and the CEO’s obvious lack of concern for the views of Congress speaks volumes.

I don’t doubt that David Noble is a decent man, but I for one hope that the frankly dotty Licence to Practice idea turns out to be his Poll Tax.”

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