Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Big tech's grip loosens on UK.gov IT spend.

2. World Bank puts out it "Benchmarking Public Procurement 2017" report. Albert has the lowdown of it.

3. The best way to build big is to start small. Agreed, way too many initiatives in public sector are based in delusions of grandeur when there is plenty of low hanging fruit yet to be picked.

4. A more transparent public procurement (Catalan only). Mostly about how perspectives on public procurement have changed in Catalonia, albeit those reductions are fairly minor. 

5. Compliance and public procurement (Spanish only). I suspect this will be a bigger topic in the years to come as procurement gets dragged more and more into a compliance frameset.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Public Works Slowdown Following Implementation of the New Italian Public Procurement Code.

2. Public Procurement Single Market scoreboard for 2015 is out. I think Albert has criticised the scoreboard in the past, but there is a measurement I find quite interesting - procedures with a single bidder. The figures for some countries like Poland and Hungary are really telling, but it would be important to know as well what is the percentage of procedures without transparency where that is happening.

3. World Bank Public Procurement Benchmarking: Behind the Numbers. More here.

4. UK’s Ministry of Defence No Closer to Winning the War on Procurement Waste.

5. Public Procurement Trade-offs: Commerciality Versus Corruption. Peter Smith raises some important and obvious points about trade-offs in public procurement. Beware the siren's call for more "negotiations".

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Spanish Council of State gives its blessing to the new Public Sector Contracts Law. The law is yet to be published and coming into force though.

2. SpendNetwork wants to open up tender notice data and making it available under the Open Contracting Data Standard.

3. Albert comments on AG Sharpston opinion about financial guarantees in cases C-439/14 and C-488/14. I broadly agree with both AG Sharpston's and Albert's view on the matter but the impact on countries such as Portugal, Spain (and Italy?) where financial guarantees are a staple of local practice will be immense. Word on the street is that cash strapped authorities use those financial guarantees to ease up cashflow issues...

4. World Bank publishes new report on Functions, Data and Lessons Learned on Suspension and Debarment.

5. Liberia is outsourcing its schools to a startup. For all the debate about public and private education in Portugal (and the UK), this is an interesting development.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Improving efficiency by building behavioural insights into an innovative NHS procurement portal (research project). Looks very interesting and I look forward to the findings.

2. Public procurement in Europe needs to enter the digital era. Good blogpost by Mara Mendes and Mihaly Fazekas on the need for better procurement data (and standards...) in the EU.

3. World Bank's Key Findings of Benchmarking Public Procurement 2016.

4. Ofcom turns to the Digital Marketplace to speed digital transformation. Fascinating example of in house procurement.

5. Welsh Government spends £100k over three years on Twitter account management. But hey, it's a "reputable and reliable service from a company that has been through the Official Journal of the European Union procurement process." Whatever that means.

 

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. PPP/PFI risks (in Spanish). I would add to the list information asymmetry and regulator capture. Very good points nonetheless.

2. Damages and re-tendering awarded in Woods Building Services vs Milton Keynes Council [2015] EWHC 2172 (TCC). Interestingly enough although Judge Coulson recognised that the decision should be set aside and there was a loss of profit, the damages awarded did not cover loss of profit as the contract is to be re-tendered. Apparently the claimant did not request in its claim for the contract to be awarded to it. Fascinating. Full decision here.

3. UK public procurement rules 'hinder digital purchases'.  "A bad carpenter blames his tools."

4. Borisbus is now known as the Roastmaster. My first impression upon reading this piece was to rail against the whole idea and how it was conceived. The more nuanced part of my brain counter argued that failure is part of the price of innovation and for the most part hybrid diesel/electrical bus fleets are still under development. Having said that, the door opening on the back is a gimmick that has nothing to do with innovation as do the small windows on the top or the lack of proper ventilation. That is just poor design, sorry.

5. The new World Bank Procurement Framework has been approved. Here we go into uncharted territory. Or maybe not as there is a lot in there based on European experience.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Swansea will have a tidal lagoon and main contractor is looking for suppliers. I have nothing against "meet the buyer" or networking type of events, but I am never keen on the "local" spin people put on them.

2. How easy will it be for the World Bank to change its procurement paradigm and raise the skills of procurement officers? Not easy, but that is no reason not to do it.

3. "Human Rights not guaranteed by procurement practices." Another reason to listen to this podcast by yours truly with Claire Methven O'Brien.

4. Caribbean Development Bank to establish regional procurement centre. Reasonable idea, as usual devil will be in the details.

5. DG Market creates tool to make contract search easy and painless. Anything is better than TED as I argued before, although data is still coming from there. Oh, and if you like data check SpendNetwork.

Update: 6. The Telegraph "makes a meal" out of EU procurement.  Awesome story about crockery and dinner services procured by the European External Action Service.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Kahneman is relevant for public procurement. I agree with Peter Smith and we are just scratching the surface in what concerns bias/heuristics in public procurement.

2. Majority of OECD countries support social objectives with public procurement but fewer measure outcomes. Every time I ask supporters of social objectives to show me the numbers and underlying data proving whatever benefit is claimed, all I hear back is silence. Not to talk about what downsides have been found or trade offs done.

3. Zambia adopts e-procurement system to curb corruption. It is a step but a lot more will be needed to effectively curb corruption in public procurement.

4. Some contrarian (?) views on the upcoming reform of World Bank procurement rules.

5. The e-invoicing Directive could (can?) be much better. I agree with most of the comments.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Crown Commercial Service Update for June 2015. Not many highlights but I will point out two policy updates. One already mentioned here about the new "obligation" of compliance with the Mystery Shopper service, the other about the statistical returns for 2013 and 2014 public contracts (which should be sent to the CCS by July 10th). Will the return rates improve? I remain sceptical. 

In the meanwhile we are still waiting for further guidance on how to use the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

2. Nominees for the 2015 Procurement of Innovation Award have been published. None from the UK (or Portugal for that matter).

3. Civic Tech is the Next Big Thing. Fully agreed, although it will take an awful long time to see that happening often in the EU. We are getting there, albeit slowly.

4. Big shake up on the World Bank procurement guidelines and procedures is coming. Money is on that it will look more like EU procurement. It is probably no coincidence that the new Chief Procurement Officer of the WB is a Briton. I do not usually cover WB procurement here, but that may change in the future.

5. In the Philippines, there is no bad procurement just bad laws. Where have I heard this excuse before...

Speaking of the Philippines, they are one of the few countries with a Procurement Ombudsman. Did not really work out well there it seems.

Links I Liked [Public Procurement]

1. Nice podcast about public procurement, from 2014. And no, it's not mine. Speaking of which, episode #3 with Frank Brunetta (Canadian Procurement Ombudsman) is now up.

2. The weird and wonderful world of local authority procurement. My Society looks like a very interesting project.

3. New Mistery Shopper results. And more importantly, apparently compliance is now mandatory for some (all?) contracting authorities in England and Wales since the Small Business Enterprise and Employment act came into force (Regulation 41). Also known as "assisting investigations." Oh, the euphemisms...

4. The World Bank is finally disclosing the identity of procurement contract winners. Say what you may about disclosing too much information after a tendering procedure, but not even disclosing the identity of the winning bidder smells beyond fishy. More about public contracts awardees information here (speculative).

5. Porto jumped into the bandwagon of "procurement infused" design contests. I am a sucker for innovation initiatives like this, but my usual concerns remain: i) intellectual property; ii) lock in; iii) design contests are not the right approach as they split R&D from procurement. Website for project here (Portuguese only).