Sector News
This Week’s Chat from the Public Procurement Cafe

It’s Friday, so here is our roundup of stories and information we picked up down the (imaginary) procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) this week. Well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens is being spent by governments and public sector bodies, you would think it ought to be done well.

A lot of our stories are UK-centric this week – but the messages hold true for almost any other EU nation. 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.

How UK Public Sector Can Benefit from the IoT

Of course, this does not just hold true for the UK. An article in IOTNow, “The tortoise and the hare of IoT” talks about how technology is capable of “helping organisations achieve many public policy goals, including delivery of public services, increased economic growth and improvements in environmental sustainability, public safety and security.” It refers to the 38 billion connected “things” that will be in use by 2020, and the opportunity for the government “to be amongst the emerging world leaders reaping the benefits from the Internet of Things.”

Research Reveals Half of Public Sector Think Bosses Lack Skills To Manage Transformation

Almost half of public sector staff think their leadership team lacks the management skills needed for a period of massive and accelerating change, according to research published by local government senior managers’ society Solace and technology company Civica — says PublicTechnology.net. (A survey of 276 middle managers in the UK.) This, and other findings, are interesting, especially if you’ve read the Deloitte wider CPO research which states “62% of CPOs don’t think their teams have the skills and capabilities to deliver their procurement strategy.”

Gatwick Will Contract Directly with Subcontractors

This was interesting news from Construction News. “Gatwick Airport will increase direct procurement with key trades on its £1.2bn development programme amid concerns over the performance of tier one contractors,” it says. And it’s well worth reading the whole article (although it is behind the pay wall, you can register as a guest reader). It’s becoming a bit of a trend it would seem, since the site also reported last year: “London Underground was the talk of the infrastructure world after it effectively ‘bypassed’ Tier 1 suppliers and headed straight to Tier 2 for the procurement of a £330m upgrade programme.” Construction News calls it “One of the boldest supply chain approaches of recent times.”

More Conflicts of Interest Reported by The Telegraph, this time in Pharmaceuticals

“Pharmaceutical firms paying members of panel which oversees NHS drug procurement,” states The Telegraph. “Ten senior officials on the Department of Health’s Pharmaceutical Market Support Group also act as consultants to drugs companies.” It goes on to explain that the health minister has launched an urgent inquiry following The Telegraph’s report that “more than 130 officials involved in assessing which drugs are given to patients are also acting as paid consultants to pharmaceutical companies.” Now that must be in breach of the public procurement directives.