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Procurement In Local Government by Andy Morris

I am really fearful of what the next few years has in-store for the industry on both sides of local government procurement, client and supplier.

In recent years, we have seen the growth of the “procurement profession” which has been allowed to take control of all procurement activities from pens and pencils to multimillion-pound infrastructure schemes. No doubt some changes were required as there had been a number mistakes  on the procurement front and engineers had left themselves open to challenge through not understanding procurement rules and regulations and when they did understand them, ignoring them. However, what has resulted is a de-skilling on the engineering profession and the “procurement professionals” driving procurement without understanding the service or product that is being sought. This often results in inappropriate forms of contract being used or ridiculously convoluted and tortuous processes put in place to procure what should be a straightforward service.  In addition, meaningless, unnecessary and costly conditions and requirements are allowed to creep into PQQs and contracts without challenge. For instance, does an organisation really need to provide £5m of motor insurance cover to provide in-house training? Where is the risk assessment to back this requirement up?

Read more: Procurement In Local Government by Andy Morris

Special Transport News

Norman Baker Letter and Government White Paper on Transport – January 2011

In January Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the Leaders of councils. The primary purpose of the letter was the announcement of the government’s White Paper on local transport – Creating Growth, Cutting Carbon: Making Sustainable Transport Happen. The letter also announced the launch of the of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, including the award of funding to local authorities for Bikeability to provide cycle training for year 6, primary school children.

Read more: Special Transport News

Senior Vice President Satbir Gill's February 2011 Blog

Snow – as luck would have it, Hounslow’s heaviest December snow for many, many years coincided with my visit to India, lucky for me that is.  I’m pleased to say that all reports indicate that my deputies for the call-out role and our contractor performed well, with all the treated routes remaining passable at all times.  I wonder if I can pull the same trick next time.

The amount of money available for local government services is of course uppermost in all our minds.

Read more: Senior Vice President Satbir Gill's February 2011 Blog

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