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The new Public Contract Regulations 2015 replaces the 2006 Public Contracts Regulations. It will take time before some of these new concepts and approaches bed in, although we note that some indicative procurement pipelines indicate that the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) are preparing for the New European Single Procurement Document (ESPD); albeit the date by which to introduce the ESPD for the UK has not yet been finalised.
The ESPD will essentially work as a self-certification document whereby potential bidders will need to self-declare that they are not within the exclusion regulation criteria. They will be able to make this declaration without the need to submit proof and thus will only need to evidence this should they (and only if requested by the awarding body) be subsequently selected as the appointed supplier - one might argue this is a passport entry ticket but only validated once you cross the border!
The idea behind the ESPD, is that bidders will be able to complete this document once and subsequently rely on it as preliminary evidence of meeting various pre-qualification standards, thus saving on the time and effort needed to repeatedly complete PQQ’s. All very well but this does not come without risk!
In a recent published article by Supply Management one major flaw to note is: what happens when the identified ‘appointed supplier’ cannot provide the proof? Couple this problem with the overall evaluation criteria split, whereby we have recently seen too much weight being factored into the price, (which can often lead to suppliers submitting proposals at a low price, simply to win the business -which then becomes apparent when they start to fail during delivery) and you start to get a sense of the real risks that lie ahead for government buyers, as a result of Lean Processes being introduced. Don’t get us wrong we very much endorse Lean Procurement, but not at the expense of cutting short the true value add of looking back on the suppliers financial standing, capacity and capability; all key facets of of any sound procurement strategy. It is therefore important that the commercial capacity and capability across central government does not come under threat as a result of departments being increasingly under pressure to cut costs.
This table sets out the minimum key timescales relating to the main contract award procedures under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Please note that this does not include for the appropriate time period that buyers will need to give for other aspects of the procurement process such as: the evaluation of tender responses.
We were pleased to read the key trends and findings today from the recently published CIPS/Hays salary Guide and procurement Insights report 2015.
It was very encouraging to see that demand for procurement professionals is at all time high with more and more companies now requesting MCIPs as a preference when engaging with procurement professionals. Here at Apta Consultancy our procurement professionals are MCIPs qualified. This is important to our business because we understand what true Customer Value Propositions mean and how they can be constructed to help give you a significant competitive advantage when bidding for and managing your public sector business.
As procurement professionals have acquired a more strategic role within organisations, this has started to create an environment where procurement specialists are being invited in to contribute on higher value added strategic activities that are in line with the changing needs of your business.
At Apta we understand the importance of relationships, both within the customer and supplier communities. Whether it’s addressing the right levels of engagement through: (a) the tender process or (b) putting in place the appropriate relationship management resources to support governance processes with your customer or (c) influencing and enhancing communications with stakeholders, we can support and deliver on the challenges that you face.
Well, well, International security giant Northrop Grumman (NG) has confirmed that it has been awarded a £28.8m contract by the Home Office to provide service and systems operations and maintenance to the Forensic and Biometric Interim Capability, otherwise known as FABrIC.
Firstly, congratulations NG, but this hardly comes as any real surprise - who else could it possibly have ever gone to given the scope and timescale of the requirements?
It somewhat frustrates us when we see open tenders like this being run, with tight deadlines, knowing only to well, who's actually over the line before the gun has even been fired!
Rather than going through the proc exercise just for the sake of process, process, process, perhaps the HO/CCS should learn to concentrate more on working and developing its existing strategic relationships, so that outsource partnering becomes much more effective through continuous improvement measures.
Surely someone in the HO/CCS should have put there head above the parapet and put forward a sound business justification for retaining an incumbent such as NG under there existing IDENT 1 contract, without the need to conduct short term contracts such as this! At least it would negate the need to waste industries time with market industry days and ITT’s that don’t provide for any real sense of competitiveness - buyers in government need to stop hiding behind the EU procurement rules saying it can't be done......
Had they of done so, they might of actually got a better deal than what’s now on the table!
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