Sector News
Chat from the Public Procurement Coffee Shop

It’s Friday, so here is our roundup of stories, information and events we picked up down the (imaginary) procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) this week. With well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by governments and public sector bodies, you would think it ought to be done well — not always! as we found out.

Do click through and read the full articles that interest you – some of them we will come back to in greater detail in due course.

The Year of Transformation – An IACCM Event
How contract and commercial management are critical capabilities in managing today’s market environment.

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) announces this year’s EMEA conference — The Year of Transformation: Maximising value through collaborative and agile relationships. The IACCM is a not-for-profit professional organisation with the mission to “…identify and promote the international standards and practices for defining and managing trading relationships.” It is made up of contract managers, commercial managers, sales, negotiators, supply chain professionals, and attorneys, and its 34,000 members come from 160 countries, 12,800+ corporations, and many industries. You can register now for its May 2016 EMEA conference in Rome with three days of intense networking, learning and benchmarking, practical insights and strategic priorities through a mix of presentations, panel discussions and interactive workshops. You can register here.

Microsoft Pledges $1 Billion Cloud Computing Support to Non-Profit Organisations

It’s no secret that big firms like Microsoft (and Apple) grant sums of money or free software/licencing to organisations, and this week the newswires have been awash with Microsoft’s pledge to donate $1 billion worth of cloud computing resource (over the next three years) to not-for-profit, public sector organisations and research institutes that can show they are working for the public good. The aim is to make data more easily accessible and provide computer power on a scale not normally accessible to smaller organisations and bring new insights into data to help make breakthroughs on technological, economic and social issues. Of course there is always the skeptical stance that sees these offerings as a way to draw in future long-term users of the software – either way, it’s worth noting that the support is available. You can find more information here and here.

What Should Be the Goal of Public Procurement?

An article on the US site Public Spend Forum digs into this perennial question. It says: “… while procurement is often seen from outside the profession as just a back-office function, the world’s best organizations know it is a crucial part of fulfilling mission and policy outcomes and have positioned the procurement function accordingly … But how can procurement best assist the larger organization? What common outcomes should it target to help the organization achieve its mission? Any discussion about the role of procurement within an organization, or how the procurement function’s performance should be measured, must begin with agreement on the outcomes it’s trying to achieve. Once those outcomes are identified, important questions around the role and how to measure performance with appropriate metrics become easier to answer.” It reports on the result of talks with experts and concludes that there are four main outcomes, and you can read them in the full article here.