Boris Johnson on procurement

This is the transcript of Johnson’s interview with Sky’s Sophie Ridge:

SR: It was a very simple question. Are you prepared to see borrowing go up?

BJ: If it's borrowing to finance great infrastructure projects and there is an opportunity to borrow at low rates and do things for the long term benefit of the country then we should do them. But there are some projects- don't forget in this country we are spending about £250 billion on public procurement per year of one kind or another. Don't tell me there aren't significant savings to be found in the way that we spend that money.

In a time where the main outsourcers are dropping like flies and competition is flagging where exactly Wille these ‘savings’ come from?

Now speaking about his own track record managing money, I think savings could be found on some of Johnson’s more emblematic projects. Like the Routemaster.

Plus, Garden Bridge. I will just leave it there.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Portuguese Audit Court unimpressed with PFI/PPP hospital (Portuguese only). The Audit Court analysed the first couple of years of the Loures privately managed hospital in Portugal and did not find significant management improvements in comparison with the best publicly managed hospitals. Its management is better than average for the country, but that is pretty much it. (NB: I was involved in a minor capacity as a lawyer on the original tender procedure back in 2004/2005, which was never concluded. I was not involved in the final one.)

2. Conflict of interest in health procurement in Yorkshire. Very interesting. As Albert mentioned on Twitter, if only the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 were applicable to this case... (his comment; my comment). PS: This situation would be dead easy to solve in Portugal...

3. How technology and a small team is changing procurement in the US. Well, not only procurement but Government in general.

4. Sidney adopts e-ink for some traffic signs. Now that is innovation. Well done. Oh, and Sheffield is creating a SmartLab to find new solutions for problems the city have. Now if only they matched the design/development stage with actual procurement...

5. No water cannons for Boris Johnson. At least he did some savvy procurement by getting the water cannons second hand from Germany. They may be useful as mobile fountains during this scorcher Summer we are having...

6. Speaking of Boris...More on the Roastmaster, sorry Routemaster. Great write up by the Guardian on the Routemaster bus. Some great insight about the difficulties of doing procurement of innovation well and how costs can quickly spiral out of control. I am still puzzled by the assumption that the bus could be sold in other markets and if that happened (it did not) it would have an effect on the price TFL would pay for the bus. Wondering what kind of intellectual property agreement exists between TFL and Wrightbus. In any event, there is no innovation without risk. There is no innovation without failure.