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Scottish Budget 2018

Against the backdrop of uncertainty caused by the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP has delivered the 2018 Scottish Budget (December 12th).

Describing it as a “fair and progressive budget” Derek Mackay presented a business-friendly package, while placing the protection of public services at the heart of this Budget Statement.

Below you can find a breakdown of key Scottish Budget 2018 figures in addition to which public sector opportunities await your industry.

SME

A £50 million ‘Town Centre Fund’ will provide much needed support for Scotland’s high streets. There will also be a cap put on business rates below inflation, providing a tax cut for small businesses, which Mackay described as “the most generous system anywhere in the UK”. The partnership between the private sector and the Scottish Government has played an important role in recent years, which was championed by the Cabinet Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn MSP at Procurex Scotland, in which he encouraged businesses to consider the welfare of local communities and the environment, calling on suppliers to “not be risk averse”.

Housing

An investment of £825 million -as part of an overall fund of £3 billion- will help deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the course of this parliament, which has been the cornerstone of Housing Minister Kevin Stewart’s construction agenda.

Education

Describing education as the Scottish Government’s “defining mission”, the Finance Secretary set out bold new proposals for Scottish schools. £180m will be used to close the attainment gap, including £120m, which will be directed towards headteacher budgets through ‘Pupil Equity Funding’. £600m will also be given to colleges and £1 billion has been secured for Scotland’s world-class universities. £214m has been set aside for apprenticeships and skills; providing a gateway in to employment for many of Scotland’s young people.

Healthcare

An increase of £730m will be provided to NHS Scotland, which is the equivalent to hiring 19,000 nurses, as Derek Mackay confirmed “health is a top priority for the government”, which accounts for almost half of the Scottish Government’s overall spending.

Local Government

The Scottish Government will provide “a real terms increase in the total local government settlement of over £210m” Mackay said, taking the local government budget to £11.1 billion. This will be welcome news for Fife Council executive director Keith Winter, who was a keynote speaker at Procurex Scotland, where he championed “social justice” as he encouraged councillors to adopt a global strategy moving forward.

BiP Solutions launches new report series exploring changing shape of public sector procurement

NHS-Procurement-Report

New market report considers healthcare trends, challenges and opportunities in a digital world

Today, BiP Solutions is pleased to launch the first of a series of reports, which will focus on the changing landscape of public sector procurement. The inaugural report considers the impact of this changing landscape for the NHS and wider healthcare organisations in an ever-evolving digital world.

Autumn Budget pledges to significantly invest in improving frontline services were widely welcomed by Healthcare leaders as the NHS continues to grapple with challenges ranging from managing the needs of an ageing population through to delivering services fit for 21st century users. And, for the latter, digital transformation has a crucial part to play.

In light of this, our report considers the digital trends and innovative approaches playing a significant role in today’s NHS in boosting efficiencies and crucially saving lives. It considers current spend within the NHS and also draws on findings from recent research conducted by our colleagues at iGov Survey to highlight the specific procurement challenges and opportunities facing the NHS.

Professor Duncan Eaton, Executive Advisor, All-Party Parliamentary Health Group and Chair of P4H England, said of this research:

‘This latest iGov survey has been carried out at a very opportune time. NHS procurement in England is at a major crossroads in its development, particularly given the changing structure at national level. Alongside the organisational changes, eSourcing and supply chain processes are gaining greater prominence. For example, the Scan 4Safety programme – responsible for enabling the delivery of better patient care, improved client productivity and supply chain efficiency – is now developing rapidly and is already having a notable impact on supply chain efficiency and patient safety.’

There is also the opportunity to reflect back on our flagship healthcare event, P4H England, and talk about some of the solutions we offer to support both healthcare buyers and suppliers in their procurement journey.

To read the report in full, please access your personal copy here.

To find out more about our solutions, please visit: www.bipsolutions.com

Professionals value the “Power of Procurement” at Procurex Wales 2018

Procurex Wales celebrated its fourth year this November. The 2018 event, held at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on 8 November, was dedicated to innovation, collaboration and education for public procurement professionals in both the private and public sectors.

Keynote Arena

Procurex Wales is a major highlight of the annual Welsh public sector calendar. The event, which is supported by the Welsh Government, welcomed Keynote speakers including:

  • Mark Drakeford AM – Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Welsh Government
  • Clare Gibbs – Deputy Director, Cabinet Office
  • Emma Watkins – Director of the CBI, Welsh Government
  • Malcolm Harrison – Chief Executive Officer, CIPS
  • Sue Moffatt – Commercial Director, Welsh Government & Director NPS

Mark Drakeford hosted the first keynote sessions, which were based on the “power of procurement”. He spoke to a packed lecture theatre about the journey the Welsh government is on to move procurement from behind the scenes to become more aligned with wider government objectives.

He also discussed Brexit, saying that it is incredibly important that the UK government strikes a deal as in his opinion, a “no deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Wales”. He says that, if a deal is reached, it will throw up different challenges for the procurement profession. Many of these potential challenges were shared during Emma Watkins’ session, which focused on what support the Welsh government is providing to prepare businesses for whatever Brexit outcome occurs.

Training sessions at Procurex Wales

Over 1,100 delegates enjoyed over 40 free training sessions in five training zones. Presenting in one of the training zones was Keir Warner, Head of Sourcing at NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership. After he highlighted the benefits of bringing buyers and suppliers together at events like Procurex Wales, he said:

“We can get siloed in our organisations and the work that we are doing. It is refreshing to come to somewhere like Procurex as you can meet others that have faced the same problems and been through some of the pain that your organisation may be going through – this is where shared learning can happen”.

Event sponsor GeTech is keen to enter the Welsh public sector market with their Chrome for Enterprise model and, although they have been awarded a place on the G-Cloud 10 framework, to supply Cloud Support Services, the team felt that they gained a lot of knowledge from attending Procurex Wales:

“The best takeaway for us is learning how to reach the procurement market in Wales and find out how to get on to Welsh frameworks – we’re taking away many lessons from this event.”

Welsh Government Procurement Pavilion

At the centre of the event was the Welsh Government Procurement Pavilion. This space gave delegates from both the public and private sector the opportunity to meet face to face.

As the Welsh Government recently launched the ‘Prosperity for All: economic action plan’, the main message that they wanted to spread throughout the event is that Wales is dedicated to delivering against the key areas of economic growth, equality, efficiency savings, and collaboration.

Sue Moffat, Commercial Director, Welsh Government, attended the pavilion throughout the day. Speaking to BiP during the day, she fed back that:

“Events like Procurex Wales showcase the fantastic work the Welsh public sector procurement teams are doing”.

Ms Moffat also spoke passionately about the new opportunities that are becoming available for Welsh suppliers and how the public sector must engage with the private sector to get the best outcomes:

“We can grow the Welsh economy by using Welsh suppliers while investing in innovation and grow in skills and capability. We can never lose sight that everything we do is for the citizens of Wales”.

Join us at Procurex Wales 2019

BiP Solutions would like to thank all partners, sponsors, delegates and exhibitors for their involvement this year, which has helped make the event a success once again.

Do not miss out next year – register your interest now for Procurex Wales 2019, which will be taking place on 7 November at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.

Alternatively, contact us today to discuss booking your 2019 exhibition or sponsorship package asap – 0845 270 7066 or exhibitions@procurexwales.co.uk

GO Awards Wales 2018/19

Just over two weeks after the GO Awards Scotland ceremony, Welsh finalists took to the stage at the prestigious GO Awards Wales 2018/19 event at Cardiff’s Mercure Hotel on 8 November 2018, to celebrate the people behind the country’s procurement success.

Among the guests were public sector buyers and their suppliers, many continuing conversations that started earlier that day at Procurex Wales, held in the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.

Many success stories were shared on the night by the host, BBC Wales presenter Jennifer Jones, as she guided guests through the evening of presentations.

Her first acknowledgement was of the hard work of this year’s judges:

Sue Moffatt – Commercial Director, National Procurement Service, Welsh Government

Eddie Regan – Principal Procurement Consultant, PASS

Mark Roscow MBE – Director of Procurement Services, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Sharon Smyth – Director in Central Procurement Directorate’s Supplies and Services Division, CPD

Umar Hussain MBE – Chief Financial Officer, South Wales Police

Simon Stranks – Membership Executive – Small Business Unit, CBI

Emma Waldron – Risk, Procurement & Governance Manager, Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)

Jane Lynch – Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

Elizabeth Lucas, MSc, MCIPS – Head of Customer and Digital Services, Caerphilly County Borough Council

The judging panel had to select winners and highly commended entrants from organisations across Wales in twelve categories. Winners were announced in the following categories:

GO Awards Wales 2018/19: Celebrating Excellence in Public Procurement

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award: Taking the procurement function forward – NHS Wales Informatics Service

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Office for National Statistics (for entry: ONS Commercial Apprentices and Students Scheme)

GO Procurement Project of the Year Award – NHS Wales Informatics Service

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP)

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Tai Tarian

GO Excellence Wales Awards – NHS Wales Informatics Service

The GO Awards Wales Excellence Award was new for 2018/19 and, unlike the other categories, applicants cannot enter – as it recognises the very best overall submission drawn from each of the winners in this year’s Awards.

This category recognised the best of the best and the submission that most clearly demonstrated progress, innovation and achievement was the winner NHS Wales Informatics Service.

On the night, Ms. Jones praised the Excellence Award winner for all their effort:

“Congratulations to the team at NHS Wales Informatics Services – a great night for you, and especially for those involved in the All Wales GP Systems and Services submission. A fantastic entry – in fact, certainly one of the very best that we have seen in the three years of the GO Awards Wales.”

Overall, the event was a tremendous success as guests also enjoyed a three-course meal and entertainment from international award-winning close-up magician, Jasper Blakeley.

BiP Solutions would like to thank the main sponsor GetTech Enterprise, event sponsors WiFi Spark Ltd, Xma Limited, CCube Solutions, Centerprise International Ltd, Bloom Procurement Services, Structherm, BTS Ltd, Delivery Direct Logistics, BIPVco and category sponsors Alto Digital, CAE, Gen Med, Oasis, Omnicell, Matrix Telematics and Saliis.

To learn more about the UK GO Awards National 2019/20, visit the GO Awards website.

 

“Scottish procurement is the most transparent in the world”: Procurex Scotland 2018

Last week over 1,500 delegates attended Procurex Scotland, part of Scotland’s Festival of Procurement, at the SEC Glasgow.

If you were unable to attend, find out more about what you missed below!

Scottish Government 14th National Procurement Conference Agenda

On the day of the event the Scottish Government National Procurement Conference took place in the same venue, with sessions from Jamie Hepburn MSP (Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills), Keith Winter (Executive Director of Environment and Communities at Fife Council), Gareth Rhys Williams (Chief Commercial Officer at the Cabinet Office), Ainslie McLaughlin (Director of Procurement and Commercial at the Scottish Government and Ant Middleton (Soldier and Adventurer).

Mr Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work & Skills, packed out the SEC conference hall, a trend that continued throughout the day, and he confidently stated that “Scottish procurement is the most transparent in the world.”

He went on to speak about championing a Scottish Government procurement policy which is based on “kindness”, and how the public sector should be doing everything it can to give Scottish people “what they want”.

Jamie Hepburn - MSP

Keith Winter was in full agreement with Jamie Hepburn, as he promoted a people first approach which focuses on “social justice” throughout his session, emphasising that “procurement is a major tool for economic growth” and highlighting that 15,000 businesses benefit from the work of Scottish councils every year.

Speaking to the BiP team after his session at the conference, Mr Winter said the key message he wanted delegates to take away from Procurex Scotland was that it is “far better to work together in the area of procurement” as this helps to break down barriers faced by professionals on a daily basis and brings better benefits to local communities.

Market Engagement Zone

Tracker, Supply2Gov, Media & Marketing Solutions, PASS Training and BiP’s Cyber Essentials representative hosted Procurex Scotland’s first ever virtual reality competition.

Players who entered the competition had the chance to win an Amazon Echo and Dot.

Before arriving at his conference hall session, headline act Ant Middleton, star of Channel 4’s ‘Who Dares Wins’ visited the Market Engagement Zone to take part in BiP’s VR Challenge.

Mr Middleton was impressed by the variety Procurex Scotland had to offer delegates and even stated that he was like “a kid in a candy shop” when he was walking around talking to exhibitors and attendees.

His session at the conference was incredibly well received. He spoke openly about his experiences in the military and the importance of mindset and leadership when setting goals.

procurex Scotland 2018

Scottish Government Procurement Pavilion

At the centre of the event was the Scottish Government Procurement Pavilion. This space gave delegates from both the public and private sector the opportunity to meet face to face.

It was a true area of expertise as representatives from APUC, Scotland Excel and NHS National Services Scotland as well as Crown Commercial Service were all based in this zone.

Paul Hansen, Head of Devolved Administrations and Partnerships at the Crown Commercial Service, attended the pavilion throughout the day. Speaking to BiP during the day, he fed back that:

“Procurex Scotland has been excellent today and it has been critical for CCS to be here. There have been a lot of new people to speak to at this event and there has been a real positive theme throughout the day.”

What’s next?

Procurex Wales, which is happening next week on 8 November at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

The next Procurex Scotland event will take place on 29 October 2019 at the SEC, Glasgow! Register Interest or contact us today to discuss booking your 2019 exhibition or sponsorship package asap – 0845 270 7066 or exhibitions@procurexscotland.co.uk 

Autumn Budget 2018 – Industry Highlights

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond presented the Government’s second Autumn Budget on 29 October.  It was a budget dedicated to the persevering people of Britain:

“The strivers, the grafters and the carers who are the backbone of our communities and our economy.”

Although many of the announcements within the Budget had already been made, it remained positive throughout, as the Chancellor claimed that the era of austerity is “finally coming to an end.”

Below you can find a breakdown of key Autumn Budget 2018 figures, and you can discover what public sector pipelines of work await your industry sector.

Defence

The defence budget has been a hot topic throughout 2018, therefore it was unsurprising that Mr Hammond included it within this year’s Autumn Budget.

In June this year it was reported that the Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson had asked for up to £4 billion extra a year for the Armed Forces.

In the Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that an additional £1 billion will be allocated to the defence budget for the remainder of this year and next, to boost cyber capabilities and anti-submarine warfare.

The Treasury has also committed to donating £10 million to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to support veterans on the centenary of the First World War armistice.

Housing

Mr Hammond continued to take steps to fix Britain’s “housing crisis” during this year’s Budget announcement, promising a further £500 million for the housing infrastructure fund which will “unlock 650,000 homes”. The fund now stands at £5.5bn.

It was also revealed that the government has partnered with nine housing associations to deliver 13,000 homes across England. With so much investment going into housing, the Chancellor wants to see more SME house builders involved in new housing development, so has announced up to £1 billion of British business bank guarantees to support them.

Health

In June the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced a £84 billion five-year deal for the NHS, an investment which is dedicated to improving frontline services. On the day of the Budget announcement Mr Hammond commented on this:

“The NHS is the number one priority of the British people; and as we approached the 70th anniversary of its foundation, they had a right to know the scale of our commitment to it.”

He also revealed that the NHS 10 Year Plan will include a new mental health crisis service, which will aim to provide mental health support to people living across the UK.  During his speech he said that:

“These new services will ensure that people suffering from a crisis, young or old, can get the help they need.”

Local Government

The Chancellor also acknowledged the impact local government has had on repairing the state of public finances and acknowledged its need for immediate support before the next Spending Review is finalised. He noted that this Budget:

“ensures local councils have more resources to deliver high quality public services.”

In England, councils will receive an extra £650 million of grant funding for 2018/19, to ease the pressure on Adult Social Care for the elderly and those with disabilities, together with an extra £45 million of Disabled Facilities Grant.

Moving forward, Mr Hammond wants local authorities to have greater control over the money they raise through increased retention of business rates from 2020 and the removal of the Housing Revenue Account cap so that councils can build more new homes.

The full Budget text can be accessed on the government website. To find out more about our business and products, visit the BiP Solutions website.

GO Awards Scotland 2018/19: Celebrating Excellence in Public Procurement

Finalists took to the stage at the prestigious GO Awards Scotland 2018 event at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on 23 October 2018, to celebrate the people behind the country’s procurement success.

Among the guests were public sector buyers and their suppliers, continuing conversations that started earlier that day at Procurex Scotland, held in the SEC Glasgow.

This year, the GO Awards ceremony formed the glittering climax to Scotland’s Festival of Procurement and welcomed over 500 delegates from the Scottish public procurement community and its suppliers, who went head to head to win a coveted GO Award.

The GO Awards ceremony was hosted by BBC Scotland presenter Catriona Renton, who guided guests through the evening of presentations. Her first acknowledgement was of the hard work of this year’s judges:

Ainslie McLaughlin – Director of Procurement and Commercial, Scottish Government

Nikki Bell – Head of Commercial Policy & Project Assurance, Scottish Government

Martin Street – Strategic Sourcing Director, NHS National Services Scotland

Hugh Carr – Head of Strategic Procurement, Scotland Excel

Stephen Richardson – Head of eSolutions & CIO, APUC Ltd

Eddie Regan – Principal Procurement Consultant, PASS

The judging panel had to select winners and highly commended entrants from organisations across Scotland in twelve categories. Winners were announced in the following categories:

GO Best Service Award: Medium & Large Organisations – Warmworks Scotland

GO Best Service Award: Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations – Re-Tek UK Ltd

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year Award – Transport Scotland (For entry: Forth Replacement Crossing)

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award: Taking the procurement function forward – University of Strathclyde, DHI, NHS NSS, Scottish Government

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Angus Council

GO Procurement Project of the &ear award (above £20m value) – Police Scotland

GO Procurement Project of the Year award (sub-£20m value) – Renfrewshire Council

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award: Central Government & Healthcare Organisations – NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award: Local Government & Other Organisations – University of Strathclyde

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award Other Organisations – University of Edinburgh

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award: Central Government & Local Authorities – Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management & Capability Team

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award – Scotland Excel

GO Excellence Scotland Award 2018/19 – Transport Scotland (For entry: Forth Replacement Crossing)

go awards tweets

The GO Awards Scotland Excellence Award was new for 2018/19 and, unlike the other categories, applicants cannot enter – as it recognises the very best overall submission drawn from each of the winners in this year’s Awards.

This category recognised the best of the best and the submission that most clearly demonstrated progress, innovation and achievement was the winner Transport Scotland for the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

When the Excellence Award was presented, Ms Renton praised the winner for all their effort:

“Congratulations to the team at Transport Scotland for their work on a now iconic Scottish structure. An outstanding achievement given the overall quality of this year’s Awards – a job very well done.”

Overall, the event was a tremendous success as guests also enjoyed a three-course meal and entertainment from celebrity magician Paul Martin.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and eSourcing Director at BiP Solutions (event organiser) and GO Awards host, said:

“It’s been another tremendous year for the GO Awards Scotland, with many new entrants and returning organisations playing their part in driving up standards and innovation within public procurement. Well done to each of our finalists, and congratulations to those who have received one of the highly coveted GO Awards trophies – we look forward to even more competition next year!”

BiP would like to thank their event partner the Scottish Government and this year’s main event sponsors Orbis, Pertemps, Drummond Bridge, Pulsant and Simon Driscoll Consultancy Ltd.

To learn more about the National GO Awards National 2018/19, visit the GO Awards

New guidance on public procurement post Brexit released

Although the government is expecting “to negotiate a successful deal with the EU”, it has released guidance on how to access public sector contracts if there is no Brexit deal.

These guidelines have been created to help British citizens and businesses understand the possible implications of a no-deal Brexit and make any required plans and preparations.

The new document outlines how this will affect access to, and publishing of, public procurement contract opportunities for UK suppliers, contracting authorities and entities and E-Senders.

What happens if there is a ‘no deal’ outcome?

The government has been planning for all post Brexit scenarios, including a potential ‘no deal’ outcome in March 2019.

In the case that the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place regarding future arrangements on access to OJEU/TED, the government has announced that “a replacement UK-specific e-notification service will be made available.”

This means that all UK contract opportunities that are currently published on OJEU/TED will be published on the new UK e-notification service which will be available from exit day. This service will be free for all users. Companies that wish to access contract notices from other EU countries will still be able to access OJEU/TED.

Testing is currently being carried out by OJEU E-Senders, which will ensure that all technical requirements are in place for a smooth transition to the new system, if required.

What will change?

The government has outlined the changes for UK both suppliers and contracting authorities and entities.

  • If there is a no deal Brexit scenario contracting authorities and entities should publish contract notices on the new UK e-notification service rather than OJEU/TED.
  • All other publication requirements for buyers would remain unchanged.
  • Suppliers that would like to find above threshold opportunities from the UK public sector should subscribe to the new UK e-notification service.

Apart from OJEU access, not much is likely to change in procurement as the Public Procurement Regulations 2015 are already in UK law.

Until March 2019

Until March 2019, the UK remains an EU member and all procurement opportunities that fall within the scope of the EU Procurement Directives will still be advertised on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

If there is a Brexit deal it is still unclear what access the UK will have to the OJEU/TED.  The government has announced that there will be more engagement on how to deal with ongoing procurement procedures in the handover period.

The full technical notice is available here.

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From continuous learning to limitless earning potential, there are an array of reasons out there for getting started in sales. Are you looking to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment where good results are easily translated into tangible rewards? If so, a place on our sales team could be the perfect role for you!

Here at BiP, we consider the opportunities within our sales department to be more than just a ‘job’. Instead, we consider sales as a rewarding and professional career path. Why? Sales is the at the forefront of our business and our sales professionals are fundamental in achieving our goals for business growth. We firmly believe that a sales role within BiP can be extremely rewarding to results driven individuals with a strong work ethic.

Sales Progression Map

On top of this, a sales career can be an effective way of developing some of life’s most valuable skills such as communication and relationship building. If you are a resilient and ambitious individual with the ability to offer high levels of customer service and wish to enroll into an exceedingly progressive sales role. Please contact our recruitment team on 0141 270 7606 for an informal discussion. To browse existing opportunities that exist within the BiP Group, please visit https://www.bipsolutions.com/careers/

The Importance of the Graduate Marketplace

Here at BiP Solutions, we place a strong emphasis on the recruitment of graduates from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We understand how significant the graduate market can be as a source of employing some of the finest talent from around the country and beyond. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (2018), graduates provide around £1 billion of added value to the UK economy every year and this is something BiP are committed to contributing to through our recruitment process.

Our management team fully recognise that graduates provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen the workforce with individuals who are keen problem solvers; provide new and unique ideas; and have a strong desire to learn. Although recent graduates may lack industry experience, we firmly believe this is made up for through a hunger for learning and on-going training.

Are you an ambitious graduate looking to kick-start your career? Please contact our recruitment team on 0141 270 7606 for an informal discussion. To browse existing opportunities that exist within the BiP Group, please visit http://www.bipsolutions.com/careers/