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Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (16th-22nd Nov)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Cadence Marketing, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 16th and 22nd November and shows that 34% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

Other key highlights this week include:

  • There has been positive growth in contract notice volumes with a 1.3% increase this week
  • Published contract notice values totaled >£22Bn
  • 889 different buying authorities published contract notices this week
  • The Top 5 awards this week totaled more than £7.93Bn

The report also shows the split of OJEU and non-OJEU notices across the public sector; awards published and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Supporting Local Charities over Christmas

At BiP Solutions, we are proud to be supporting two local charities in the lead up to Christmas.

As part of our BiP Solutions Ltd ONE Giving Back programme and following our support of The Trussell Trust throughout November, our hard-working staff are now becoming Secret Santas through their support of the Wood Street Mission and The Glasgow Spirit of Christmas Appeal, both of which are based within our own office locations of Manchester & Glasgow respectively.

These hugely important charities will be providing new toys and gifts for local children affected by hardship or living in poverty, to make sure they have something special to open on Christmas Day.

Even under normal circumstances both of these appeals provide some much needed support at this time of year, however this year will undoubtedly be even more important than ever. Therefore I am very pleased to say that BiP as part our Giving Back programme will be match funding all donations raised across our staff.

Thank you to all of our staff for their continued support and participation within important and valuable initiatives such as these.

The Spending Review: An in depth look

The Spending Review: An in depth look

After a tumultuous year that has seen the country tackle unanticipated challenges and changes, the Government’s Spending Review has been announced. Alongside the highly anticipated launch of the National Infrastructure Plan, the Spending Review lays out the government’s plans for UK investment.

The last Government Spending Review came in September 2019, when no one could have foreseen the tumultuous events of the past 12 months.

At the time, Sajid Javid was Chancellor, and his Spending Review looked to fulfil some of the manifesto promises of the election: turning the page on austerity, levelling up the north, investing in infrastructure and day-to-day spending.

With the much-anticipated National Infrastructure Strategy still awaiting publication, Mr Javid gave an indication that spend would be increased as the government recognised its importance to the progression of the UK.

Come the Budget in March 2020, however, it was all change; with Rishi Sunak now heading the department, a pandemic on the rise and Brexit negotiations still on-going, the Spring Budget looked to address immediate concerns. In the lead-up to the UK budget announcement, the Prime Minister promised the budget would be “an infrastructure revolution”. The Budget focused on the government’s levelling up agenda with its announcement of infrastructure projects in strategic and local roads, broadband connectivity, improving Further Education facilities and buildings, and the Affordable Housing programme, as well as additional funding towards flooding defences for communities in the north of England.

However, the eagerly awaited National Infrastructure Strategy was once again delayed. The reason cited for the delay was to allow Sunak to refocus the strategy, reflecting the larger spend that had been made available. That said, the Budget had crucial talking points for investment, amongst which was confirmation of some £170Bn in infrastructure investment over five years.

Prior to the Spending Review announcement on 25 November, it was hotly tipped that the Prime Minister would use the review to bring back Britain from the pandemic with an investment plan reminiscent of Roosevelt’s New Deal for America in the aftermath of the Great Depression.

In June, the Prime Minister set out his agenda to rebuild Britain and to ‘Build Back Better’, thus fuelling economic recovery across the UK. Part of this strategy was to tackle ongoing problems within the UK, by building new homes, fixing the NHS, tackling the skills crisis, and starting to mend the gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK, to unite and level up.

“The government will build back better, build back greener, build back faster,” the Prime Minister said in June.

A Spending Review usually covers a period of three or four years, but disruption from the pandemic has resulted in the government only covering the coming 12 months.

The Ministry of Defence and NHS have already benefited from promises to invest with the NHS seeing an extra £3Bn on top of the £133Bn promised to help with COVID-related backlogs, while defence spending has received its biggest investment in 30 years, with the Prime Minister promising an increase in defence spending of some £24.1Bn over the next four years, £16.5Bn more than previous commitments.

Here we take a look at the Spending Review announcements in more detail.

In a rather upbeat speech, Mr Sunak acknowledged the difficulties the UK is currently facing and said that this government’s first priority was to protect both people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as creating new hospitals and better schools. He promised there would be a once in a lifetime investment in infrastructure. He acknowledged the importance of having strong public sector services and promised a £540Bn departmental spending increase – a day-to-day rise of 3.8%, the fastest growth rate in 15 years.

Defence

The government had pledged to increase defence spending by 0.5% above the inflation rate, which is currently at 0.7%, for every year of the current Parliament. With the Prime Minister promising a further £16.5Bn investment, defence is projected to see an overall cash increase of £24.1Bn over four years compared to last year’s Budget.

The increase will cement the UK’s position as the largest defence spender in Europe and the second largest in NATO.

The commitment will allow the Government to invest in cutting-edge technology, positioning the UK as a global leader in domains such as cyber and space and addressing weaknesses in the UK’s defence arsenal.

To support these advancements, the Prime Minister made further announcements of a new agency dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, the creation of a National Cyber Force and a new ‘Space Command’, capable of launching its first rocket in 2022.

This will be underpinned by a record investment of at least £1.5Bn extra and £5.8Bn total on military research and development and a commitment to invest further in the Future Combat Air System.

Health

The Government had already committed to providing new hospitals, and Mr Sunak confirmed the Prime Minister’s promise of 40 new hospitals and the upgrading of 70 more, with a further allocation of £3Bn to help with COVID-related backlog. Local authorities will see a 4.5% increase in core spend and will be able to increase council tax by up to 2%. This, together with flexibility to increase the adult social care precept, the ring-fenced share of council tax dedicated to adult social care, and £300M grant funding will give an extra £1Bn for social care.

Construction / Infrastructure

Mr Sunak revealed a once-in-a-generation investment into infrastructure in the UK, alongside the highly anticipated National Infrastructure Strategy. Some £100Bn of capital investment will be introduced.

The 30-year strategy, which was originally due to be published in March 2020 but was brought out alongside SR2020, provides £100Bn to improve transport connectivity and work towards the Government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mr Sunak confirmed the strategy will work alongside the Government’s plan for a greener future, as well as ensuring local solutions for local projects. He said this government would be “funding infrastructure for everyday life”, improving houses, roads, libraries, schools and public spaces.

Housing

Mr Sunak acknowledged the need for more housing, where it is needed and that projects must have both local impact and local support.

The government has committed to simplifying the planning system in order to get the houses people want built where they are needed. Some £7.1Bn will be made available through a new National Home Building Fund on top of £12.2bn affordable homes programme.

Mr Sunak also announced the creation of a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4Bn, managed jointly with the Treasury, Dept for Transport and MHCLG, which will take a new holistic approach to projects. They must impact local areas and benefit local areas. They must also be completed within this Parliament.

The Chancellor also committed to the biggest ever investment in new roads, including £1.7Bn for local roads maintenance and upgrades.

Over £260M will be invested to continue the transformative digital infrastructure programmes, including the Shared Rural Network for 4G coverage, Local Full Fibre Networks, and the 5G Diversification and Testbeds and Trials Programmes.

The Chancellor noted that “our economic emergency has only just begun” and revealed a pay freeze for most public sector workers, although many doctors and nurses and those earning under £24,000 will see pay increases. The National Living Wage will also be increased to £8.91 from April 2021.

Key Highlights of Spending Review 2020

After a tumultuous year, that has seen the country tackle unanticipated challenges and changes, the Government’s Spending Review has been announced today. Alongside the highly anticipated launch of the National Infrastructure Plan, the Spending Review lays out the government’s plans for UK investment.

In June, the Prime Minister set out his agenda to rebuild Britain and to ‘Build back Better’ thus fuelling economic recovery across the UK. Part of this was to also tackle historical problems within the UK, by building the homes, fixing the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, and to mend the gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK, to unite and level up.

“The government will build back better, build back greener, build back faster.” He said.

Already, the Ministry of Defence and NHS have already benefitted from promises to invest with the NHS seeing an extra £3Bn on top of the £133Bn promised to help with Covid related backlogs, while defence spending has received its biggest investment in 30 years, with the Prime Minister promising an increase in defence spending of some £16.5Bn over the next four years.

Defence

The government had pledged to increase defence spending by 0.5% above the inflation rate, which is currently at 0.7%, for every year of the current Parliament. With the Prime Minister promising a £16.5Bn investment, this is projected to be an overall cash increase of £24.1Bn over four years compared to last year’s budget.

Health

Some 40 new hospitals will be constructed, while 70 more will be upgraded. Plus a further £4.2Bn will be made available for NHS operational investment next year to allow hospitals to refurbish and maintain their infrastructure, and £325M of new investment in NHS diagnostics equipment to improve clinical outcomes.

Construction / Infrastructure

Mr Sunak revealed a once-in-a-generation investment into infrastructure in the UK, alongside the highly-anticipated National Infrastructure Strategy. Some £100Bn of Capital Investment will be introduced, the biggest sustained investment for over 40 years.

There will be the biggest investment in roads in years, with the funding for ‘infrastructure for everyday life’.

The Chancellor also set out plans to further the levelling up agenda by launching a new £4Bn Levelling Up Fund that will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. A refreshed Green Book will also better link projects and programmes to Government objectives, including on levelling up and Net Zero.

Finally the Chancellor Also announced the creation of a new UK infrastructure bank – headquartered in the north of England – to work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK.

Housing

The government has committed to simplifying the planning system in order to get the houses people want where they are needed. Some £7.1Bn will be made available through the National Home Building Fund on top of £12.2bn affordable homes programme.

Overall, the government has committed to almost £19Bn of transport investment next year, including £1.7Bn for local roads maintenance and upgrades

While over £260M will be invested to continue the transformative digital infrastructure programmes, including the Shared Rural Network for 4G coverage, Local Full Fibre Networks, and the 5G Diversification and Testbeds and Trials Programmes.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our more in depth report of the Spending Review, which will follow shortly.

Public Sector Procurement Trends Update (9th-15th Nov)

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Cadence Marketing, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 9th and 15th November and shows that 37% of contracts were for less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

​​​Other key highlights this week include:

  • There has been positive growth in contract notice volumes with a 21% increase this week
  • Published contract notice values totalled >£25Bn
  • 907 different buying authorities published contract notices this week

The report also shows the split of OJEU and non-OJEU notices across the public sector; awards published and those awarded to more than 1,300 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

Latest Market Update highlights highest volume of public sector contract notices published since the start of Lockdown

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we have harnessed Tracker’s powerful database, business intelligence and data analysis services to do what BiP has done for the last 36 years – bring buyers and suppliers together.

At the height of the crisis, the company monitored and analysed data from Tracker weekly to make sure that buyers and suppliers were kept up to date with activity in the public sector, with a special focus on central and local government, defence, education and health.

Now that some kind of normality has resumed,  our BiP Solutions media and marketing services, Cadence Marketing, have published a monthly report, in association with Tracker to help you understand what is happening in the public sector and how our data, together with Tracker’s powerful business intelligence tools, can help you engage earlier and succeed in this marketplace.

Each report considers how the public sector marketplace is responding to the latest changes before focusing on one of our key sectors in greater detail. In our latest monthly review, we also examine health, which has been at the centre of this year’s COVID-19 crisis, while simultaneously trying to maintain the extensive services provided by the NHS and other healthcare bodies.

Key highlights include:-

  • In the month of October 2020, we published 7562 UK and Ireland contract notices. This is an increase of 941 notices (14.21%) compared with September’s 6621 and is the highest total since before the start of lockdown in March, exceeding the previous highest total 6675 contract notices published in July by 887 notices (13.29%)
  • Almost two thirds of public sector contract notices with a stated value were worth £500,000 or less and were potentially suitable for SMEs
  • NHS procurement spend is over £27 billion each year, making it one of the highest-spending areas of the public sector. In October, the stated values for health sector contracts ranged from £10 billion to £500, illustrating the opportunity available to even the smallest business
  • A return to normality following the crisis has seen an upward trend in all areas, including a 76% increase in health contract volumes between June and October

You can download your complimentary copy here

Latest Public Sector Procurement Trends report released

This week’s Public Sector Procurement Trends report, produced in association with Cadence Marketing, has been released.

The report provides an update on activities between 2nd and 8th November and has revealed that despite contract notices being down in volume by 5%, they have increased by 184% by market value.

Latest Public Sector Procurement Trends report released

We have also seen that 38% of contracts with a stated value were less than £100,000 – clearly indicating a continued opportunity for SMEs throughout the public sector.

​​​Key highlights this week include:

– 834 different buying authorities published contract notices this week
– Published contract notice values totalled >£35Bn, a 184% increase on the previous week
– The top 5 awards published this week totalled >£28.76 Bn

The report also shows the split of OJEU and non-OJEU notices across the public sector; awards published and those awarded by more than 1,100 suppliers; contract volume broken down by sector; and top buyers by contract volume.

The report can be viewed in full here

GO Awards Scotland 2020/21 – Winners Announced!

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Go Awards Scotland have been revealed!

As always, the submissions for this year’s GO Awards Scotland were outstanding – our judges were blown away! The standard continues to rise year on year, and we would like to thank everyone who entered a submission this year.

This year’s event instead took place in an innovative new online format on the afternoon of Friday 6th November. While the event was virtual the recognition of the outstanding Awards entries and the stories behind them were very real.

Hosted by TV presenter Sarah Heaney and with an official welcome from Nick Ford, Director of Procurement and Property, Scottish Government – this year’s event – which took place online on Friday 6 November – announced 9 Highly Commended awards and 10 category winners from across Scotland’s public, private and third sector.

Each category winner went onto become a finalist for the GO Excellence Award – recognising the very best of the best in this year’s submissions.

The winners are…

This year there were an incredible ten categories, including the coveted GO Excellence Award. The judging panel, comprised of experts in the field of procurement, stressed that this year’s batch of entries was among the strongest ever.

The full list of winners is listed below – congratulations to them all!

Infrastructure or Capital Project of the Year

Winner: Transport Scotland for entry: A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam Project

Highly Commended: Transport Scotland for entry: A9 Berriedale Braes Improvement Project

Best Procurement Delivery

Winner: Scottish Borders Council and the Supplier Development Programme

Social Value

Winner: Perth and Kinross Council

Highly Commended: Multiplex Construction Europe Ltd & University of Glasgow

University of Edinburgh

Best Contractor

Winner: Warmworks Scotland and The Scottish Government

Highly Commended: Bidfood, supporting NHS Scotland National Procurement

Supplier Relationship Management

Winner: The Scottish Government

Best Procurement Leadership

Winner: North Lanarkshire Council and the Supplier Development Programme

Procurement Team of the Year

Winner: City of Glasgow College

Highly Commended: The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service

COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award – Private Sector Organisations

Winner: ICL Tech Ltd

Highly Commended: Unico Ltd

Warmworks Scotland

COVID-19 Outstanding Response Award – Public Sector Organisations

Winner: NHS National Services Scotland for entry: NHS Louisa Jordan

Highly Commended: NHS Tayside (Procurement, Management and Laundry services), University of Dundee (Textile Design department and ‘Scrub Hub’), Halley Stevensons (Textile production), J&D Wilkie Ltd (Pattern cutting) and 500 Citizen sewers (Sewn in Tayside)

NHS National Services Scotland for entry: National Procurement

GO Excellence Award

Winner: NHS National Services Scotland for entry: NHS Louisa Jordan

Congratulations to all our winners, highly commended, finalists and to everyone who entered this year. Public sector procurement is leading the way in innovation, expertise, and professionalism and we are delighted to once again shine a light on the outstanding work been delivered every day across Scotland.

Join the best of the best

For 36 years BiP Solutions has been a part of public procurement’s incredible success story: and since 2002 we have been measuring its evolution as a profession and public service through the GO Awards Programme.

We have come a long way, but like the winners of our GO Awards, we strive to achieve so much more in the future.

If you are interested in registering for our 2021/2022 events, find your region by visiting:

https://www.goawards.co.uk/

Or for sponsorship opportunities:

[email protected]

BIP Solutions to support local foodbanks

BIP Solutions is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Trussell Trust over the winter months.

As a business, BIP Solutions have always been very conscious of playing a positive role within the communities in which we are based, and especially recognise the importance of doing so during these difficult times.

The Trussell Trust support a nationwide network of food banks and provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK. One of the reasons BIP Solutions identified them as a partner was because of their involvement in both the Glasgow and Salford communities.

Last month, The Trussell Trust released a report revealing how the COVID pandemic has massively affected food bank usage across the UK, with a huge rise in people needing to use a food bank in its network for the first time. According to their forecasts. a 61% increase in food parcels will be needed across its UK networks in October to December – this means six parcels will be given out every minute.

With the ongoing restrictions limiting BIP Solutions’ ability to invest into normal colleague social activities, that money will instead be donated to support this important cause.

With 160 employees in the business, the Company are pleased to confirm that a donation of £1600 will be made in the month of November. This means that on behalf of BiP, each employee will be helping to feed a family throughout these difficult times.

BIp Solutions’ CEO, Simon Burges, said: “I truly believe that strong family values are at the heart of our company and therefore I’m very pleased that on behalf of all our staff we are able to support such a worthy cause and help families at times when they may need it most.”

Event Review: Procurex Scotland Engage 2020

Procurex Scotland Engage 2020 and the 16th Annual Scottish Government National Procurement Conference saw over 1200 attendees come together last week in the first ever virtual Procurex Scotland and Scottish Government National Procurement Conference.

With almost 40 sessions and 35+ exhibition booths, this hugely important one-day conference provided attendees with an invaluable insight into the latest developments and opportunities taking place across Scotland.

At the Keynote Arena, Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance made the opening address. She said procurement has the capability to help Scotland live up to its hopes and its dreams – a theme that ran throughout all the keynote addresses.

Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance

Ms Forbes discussed how the public, private and third sectors had all been affected by COVID-19 but warned that the pandemic was not only the challenge to be faced as she highlighted uncertainty arising from Brexit.

However, there was reassurance for suppliers, with Ms Forbes saying: “Be assured that from policy to legislation, to updates to our systems, such as Public Contracts Scotland everything will be fit for purpose, allowing you to carry out your procurement in January just as you did in December.”

Noting that the public sector spend stands around £12.6 billion a year and supports over 100,000 jobs, the Secretary said: “Now is the time to build in greater resilience to our supply chains and that will be critical to our forward-looking approach.

“We want to create a vibrant, dynamic and innovative supply base, one which will help us create jobs, grow businesses, benefit our local communities and deliver on our climate obligations.”

Ms Forbes concluded her keynote with a call for innovation. She said: “I would urge you to be as creative as you can be in developing solutions to help grow our economy, to create jobs and to respect our environment. Those are the fundamentals of the power of procurement.”

Next was Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to Scottish Government, who highlighted the achievements of Scotland’s well-being framework – the National Performance Framework.

Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to Scottish Government

She described the National Performance Framework as “Scotland’s way of bringing together the long-term outcomes that we want government, public services and ultimately all of Scotland to work towards.

I talk about the National Performance Framework as our North Star because its aim and common purpose guides our actions at all times.”

Ms Evans said the National Performance Framework was underpinned by a set of values: kindness, dignity, compassion, respect for the rule of law and openness and transparency. These values helped to maintain its ambitions even during challenging times.

She explained: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a real test for the National Performance Framework. We could very easily have lost sight of that long-term vision, especially during such fast-paced and unusual times.

“And yes, the pandemic will throw up learning that we will want to incorporate and reflect in our approach going forward but the Framework continues to provide us with direction, with resilience, and assurance. 

“Ultimately, the National Performance Framework is helping to ensure that we are best placed to address challenges, adapt to change and make a positive difference to the well-being of Scotland.”

Gary Gillespie, the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist, followed and tackled the topic of Economic Restart and Recovery.

Mr Gillespie said at the start of lockdown, it was estimated the economy would contract by about 33% and about 900k people, employed and self-employed would be affected. However, the actual figures revealed the economy contracted by about 25% during lockdown. Over 900 thousand jobs were impacted through furloughed workers and self-employed people who couldn’t work during lockdown.

He concluded his keynote by calling for greater agility and innovation: “In living with the virus and the restart of the economy, we’ve got to be adaptable, we’ve got to continue to innovate, we’ve got to work safely to enable confidence for both workers and consumers.”

Dermot Rhatigan, Deputy Director for Manufacturing and Industries for the Scottish Government used his keynote to focus on the subject of Supply Chain Resilience and Development and outlined the Scottish Government’s programme for building back a fairer, greener and stronger Scotland.

He told attendees that while tackling COVID-19 remains the immediate priority, Ministers are clear that there must be planning for economic and social recovery by taking action now to build recovery and greater resilience.

Dermot Rhatigan, Deputy Director for Manufacturing and Industries

Mr Rhatigan said: “Ministers have established a new national mission to create new, high-quality greener jobs. This mission is underpinned by significant investment in our national infrastructure to help secure the economic benefits of the green transition.

“An immediate priority will be analysis of existing supply chains, identification of opportunities for increased local capability and enhanced resilience.”

Looking at the impact of COVID-19, he said that lessons have been learned that would ultimately lead to improved outcomes for supply chains. He said: “I believe that the (COVID) experience can be a catalyst for change in our supply chains, change that leads to better resilience, better value for money, more innovation and improved outcomes.”

The final keynote address was delivered by Nick Ford, Director for Procurement and Property for the Scottish Government and told Procurex Scotland that procurement has a critical role to play in securing a long-term recovery through professional excellence.

Mr Ford spoke about the ‘power of procurement’ and the crucial role it can play in improving the lives of the Scottish people.

He said: “This is our time to rise to this challenge. Leveraging the power of procurement to deliver better impact and outcomes for the people living in Scotland.

“We want our actions and our contracts to be good for business and their employees, good for society, good for places and communities, and open and connected.

“Through the creation of innovation partnership, we’ve been able to focus on services in communities, reduce pressure on the NHS, eliminate unnecessary travel time for patients but also provide economic growth and jobs in Scotland, working in those SMEs.”

The keynote was also hosted two lively panel debates featuring keynote and other guest panelists. The first looked at Upcoming Challenges for Scotland and the second  The Procurement Vision for the Public Sector in Scotland – both of which delivered some key insight and guidance.

Though the event was not held within its usual format and structure, Procurex Scotland Engage demonstrated the how a successful virtual event can still harness the power of being people together.

Event Review: Procurex Scotland Engage 2020

Whilst we don’t know with any certainty when more traditional physical events will able to return, the overwhelming feedback has been that this was one of the best BiP Solutions’ virtual events so far.

For more information on our events, visit our BiP Events Diary.

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