It’s Friday and it’s sunny — well here anyway — so we’ve been in the (imaginary) public procurement beer garden/cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) where we picked up recent public sector stories, snippets and information from around Europe. Well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens is being spent by governments and public sector bodies, so it’s good to pick up on stories on how it’s being spent.
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.
And the big news this week is …. no! not the EU referendum registration database crash … but
Exciting News — Our Public Sector Europe Site Rebrands as Part of a Global Public Procurement Vision
Yes — this week Public Spend Matters Europe became part of a wider mission to help transform the world of public sector procurement in terms of efficiency, openness and innovation. Public Spend Forum Europe aims to be the forum that brings public sector people together — a global community and knowledge network for public procurement and the public sector market. You can read our two articles here and here for more information.
And of course! Voter Registration for the UK’s EU Referendum Has Been Extended
Following the crash of the registration site at spike time on Tuesday 7th June — the deadline to register has been extended by emergency legislation. Twitter was and is bursting with opinions on whether the Gov.uk team should have expected and been prepared for a surge, whether people should now lose their right to register, for leaving it until the last minute, or, as some say, they did have the right, up until midnight, and it was taken away from them. So, who’s to blame? Supplier? Buyer? And why can’t Gov Digital Service provide a robust, seamless user experience when access is critical? Computing has a good report here. And Peter Smith on Spend Matters UK will no doubt have something to say on this in his post next week.
American Boeing Aircrafts for UK MOD – Fallon needs to come clean
CITY A. M. reports on “UK’s ‘secretive’ defence procurement policy” after decision to buy 9 American Boeing aircrafts, which will is set to be signed next month at Farnborough air show. “Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing, Tony Burke said: ‘At a time of increased international tension and security concerns, defence secretary Michael Fallon needs to come clean with the British public on the secretive nature of the UK’s arms procurement policy,’ reports CITY A.M. and there’s more detail over on its site.
EU will look at “cumulative costs” of legislation on chemical industry and SMEs
EurActiv has run an interesting coverage of the second review of the EC in 2017 of the REACH chemicals safety law, which Brussels is required to do every five years. “We know that REACH is considered as one of the most difficult pieces of legislation for industry to deal with — in particular SMEs,” said Mamer, a senior official at the Commission’s internal market directorate (DG Grow). “We are very concerned and interested by what we call the ‘cumulative costs’ of legislation on industry,” But health and public safety concerns are not to be ‘watered down.’ He calls on industry players to share data on supply chains with policymakers – the EC will take into account the needs of industry “as much as possible” ― but this requires “cooperation and transparency,” he said, amid concerns over dangerous production processes. At the moment is is easy for companies to go out of the EU, produce there and re-import the finished product in Europe without any REACH constraints. More on the website.
Pubic organisations in Brussels invited to take part in Free bio-economy workshop – Register now
“Public organisations, research centres, universities, SMEs and industries based in Brussels are invited to take part in a workshop focused on opportunities for organisations in the bio-based industry. The event will provide an overview of regional activities linked to bio-based production and the circular economy.” This free event will take place on 22 June and there are more details on the Procurement of Innovation Platform website.
Institute for Government lauds move towards contract transparency
UK “Think tank praises updated blueprint for public-sector procurement but warns new clause must be used.” See more on Civil Service World. “… the blueprint for major contracts with private sector suppliers – would enable the wider publication of performance details and allow for greater scrutiny of deals.”