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

Here’s our Friday roundup of news picked up in the (imaginary) public procurement cafe/bar/cave/biergarten (according to your location) — 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.

Some organisations are paying up to 11 times the trade price for IT products

A recent study on IT spending carried out by KnowledgeBus, “IT margins benchmarking study 2015: the avoidable cost to business,” found the majority of sectors including banking, retail and manufacturing, are still paying excessive margins on IT products. They are “unwittingly lining the pockets of suppliers by purchasing IT products at prices several times higher than the industry standard,” it says. The NHS is just one example – “the scale of these margins is a clear cause for concern when the industry best practice – as outlined by the Society of IT Managers – states that margins should exceed no more than 3% of the trade price.” There’s more here in the study.

The Global Procurement Awards

Nominations have opened for the Global Procurement Awards, which recognise and celebrate anyone who has demonstrated ‘excellence’ in the procurement profession — so what is that? A person who has has built and executed strategies that have benefitted their organiation’s bottom line, supply chain partners, customers or employees, perhaps? Or, a team that has shown outstanding collaboration, innovation and teamwork throughout their procurement processes, leading to exceptional performance? Or, someone who has shown: leadership through the innovative use of materials, logistics or technology; commitment to environmental sustainability and ecologically sound processes; improved operations. You can nominate now — open until August 12, with winner announced August 29.

Ukraine — Adopt a national procurement system quickly!

A representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has advised that the Ukraine should adopt a national procurement system for the sourcing and purchasing of medicines — and do it quickly. The Ministry of Health’s public procurement and supply programme resulted in a two-year gap of available medicine in the country from 2013-2015. It is now to procure a range of medicines and medical products as an emergency measure in 2015 (and subsequent years if necessary). There’s more on the story here on InterfaxUkraine.

Local councils fail to make savings in face of 40% cut in funding from central government

A  Freedom of Information request has revealed that “three-quarters of all councils in England cannot identify savings achieved from reviews, improvements or best practice adopted in the two years since the launch of the National Procurement Strategy.” The NPS set out a vision for best practice across all local government procurement in England to help make savings. Digital By Default reports that “just a quarter of the councils that highlighted making changes actually included the adoption of digital technology like the use of e-procurement portals and e-tendering, despite the National Procurement Strategy specifically calling for councils to increase efficiency and productivity through appropriate e-procurement solutions.” There’s more on the website.

National Bank’s foundations to pay comically low fine for dodging public procurement rules 

This report on Hungary’s Politics.Hu site highlights how The Public Procurement Board (KDB) posed only a minor fine on the central bank foundations, by taking into account that the voluntarily subjected themselves to the regulations of the public procurement law. That sum amounted to 200,000 forints (EUR 630) for each of the six foundations.