Sector News
This Week’s Banter from the Public Procurement Birreria

Happy Friday! — and we’ve been down the (imaginary) procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) to pick up our recent stories, snippets and information. 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.

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.

TTIP – in the news again, this time with an extension to talks

The free trade negotiations between the EU and the United States (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement) are due to come to a close towards the summer. Ignacio Garcia Bercero, Chief EU Negotiator for the TTIP, said that this timeframe is a necessary step if a deal is to be made before a change US presidency. The start of the most recent round of talks was delayed this week after a blockade by Greenpeace activists, who warned against a “dead end trade deal” and called for an end to the negotiations, also declaring “The court would allow corporations to sue governments over any environmental, health or labour safeguards that stand in the way of their investments.” EU and US negotiators are discussing plans to establish a quasi-court under the future TTIP agreement. They have decided to extend negotiations over the next two weeks.  There’s more here on New Europe.

New Public Procurement Rules for Scotland draw closer

April 18th is the date on every public body’s mind in Scotland and on the minds of those who tender for public contracts. Everyone will be getting up to speed. The Procurement Reform Act will lower the thresholds for buyers advertising and running competitions (lower than the EU), and there will be more detailed complaince regulations to be followed. Suppliers will see greater use of prior information notices (PINs).  There is a good overview of the changes and the timescales on bto solicitors website.

Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 — Transparency International

Now available on Transparency International’s website — the latest corruption index by country. Each year Transparency International scores countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. The Corruption Perceptions Index captures views of analysts, businesspeople and experts in countries around the world and ranks them. Do go and have a look at where your country sits and how it has changed over a year — but in a snapshot: Denmark remains at the top for the second year running with 91 points out of 100 and North Korea and Somalia remain at the bottom with 8 — again. The US has gone up one space to sit at number 16 (gaining a 76 score) while the UK rose three places to number 10 with a score of 81, the same as Germany and Luxembourg. Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore and Canada all score well. But as TI says: “Behind these numbers is the daily reality for people living in these countries,”  and on the site you can find much more information about the real meaning of corruption.

Sharing and use of data across UK public sector – consultation paper

UK Government Technology magazine announces “The Cabinet Office has launched a new consultation into the sharing and use of data across public sector organisations. It will run for eight weeks, focusing on data held by public sector organisations, with the aim of improving data security across government while making life easier for citizens. The consultation will look into how the government can improve outcomes for the public by ensuring authorities have the data they need to effectively deliver services.” Government Technology runs a good overview and the whole consultation paper can be seen here.

Italian MPs forced to pay their bar bills

We hear from Politico that Italian MPs are being forced to pay their food/drink bills. It points out that Italian MPs “will no longer be able to get away with free drinks and snacks in the bar of the lower house of parliament after caterers promised to crack down on freeloading.” 34 MPs left office owing between €300 and €800 each in unpaid bills. You can read more here.

And finally — a quick word on eWorld which we attended this week in London

More solution and service providers were at eWorld than we’d ever seen before – plenty of networking and a good, very full roundup of speeches and workshops. We will be reporting on some of the presentations next week over on Spend Matters UK/Europe.

That’s it for this week, join us again next Friday.