The air was electric on the evening of 8 March as attendees, entrants and judges gathered at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate for the National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2016/17. Here BiP Solutions journalist Donald MacInnes recounts the night.
With over 130 finalists and 500 guests, this year’s National GO Awards ceremony and gala dinner was the biggest to date. As the champagne flowed so did the conversations, continuing on from Procurex North Live earlier that day in Manchester Central.
Raising their glasses, guests hushed in anticipation as the lavish dinner and awards ceremony got under way. Finalists waited anxiously, all hoping they would be the lucky ones to take home a coveted GO Award.
Suppliers, procurement teams and buying consortia were all honoured across a wide range of categories on the night.
This year’s National GO Awards also welcomed television presenter Sarah Heaney, who introduced the Awards ceremony.
Every year the National GO Awards feature some of the biggest and most celebrated names in UK public procurement, and this year was no exception. Sally Collier, Chief Executive Officer at the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), was in attendance as one of the key figures on the judging panel.
Ms Collier commented: “We’ve got the biggest number of winners ever and it’s a fantastic occasion for the procurement profession. The standard just gets better and better.
“The thing this year was that we were rewarding people for real innovation. It’s not just doing the same thing better; it’s fantastic achievement for individuals and teams receiving an award. They should be very proud of their achievements. They should go back to their organisations and shout about this award from the rooftops!”
Co-judge, Chair of the Health Care Supply Association (HCSA) and Director of Procurement and Supplies at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Helen Lisle, discussed the exciting opportunities the GO Awards can bring.
She said: “It’s a great opportunity for people to come together and celebrate success in procurement. The standard this year was incredible. We had a great time down in London debating the rights and wrongs of who should go forward. We see the standard increase on a year-on-year basis which is brilliant for procurement professionals across the country.”
This sentiment was echoed by National GO Awards Lead Judge Grahame Steed.
Mr Steed said: “I’m pleased to say the standard was really high this year. Every year we see the standard increasing. This year was really hard for the judges to make some decisions. There were many strong entries that didn’t even become finalists, which is a real measure of how far the Awards have come. It means a great deal; it’s a huge recognition for the work that that team or that organisation has done!”
As the Winners and Highly Commended were announced the auditorium echoed in celebration as a host of delighted faces ascended to the stage to receive their trophies.
The winners on the night were:
GO Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year Award – Sponsored by ENGIE
Horsham District Council
Doncaster Council in partnership with HM Prison Lindholme and ONE3ONE Solutions
GO Contract Management Initiative of the Year Award – Sponsored by Delta eSourcing
The City of Edinburgh Council
Falkirk Council, Central Procurement Unit
GO Small Business / Third Sector Engagement Initiative of the Year Award – Sponsored by Supply
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
GO Best Service Award – Health and Social Care – Sponsored by Sellick Partnership
Peterborough City Council
NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative
GO Best Service Award – Other Organisations – Sponsored by Stannah Lift Services Ltd
MAP Chartered Surveyors
GO Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award – Health Care – Sponsored by PASS
Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Collaborative Procurement Partnership
GO Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award – Social Care – Sponsored by PASS
Lincolnshire County Council – Homecare
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
GO Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award – Local Government and Consortia – Sponsored by Commercial Services
The City of Edinburgh Council
Liverpool City Council
GO Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award – Local Government and Consortia (Framework) – Sponsored by Commercial Services
Sheffield City Council
GO Procurement Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award – Other Organisations – Sponsored by Tracker
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Welsh Government – Value Wales and the National Procurement Service
GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care – Sponsored by Government Opportunities
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government and Consortia – Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group
London Borough of Waltham Forest
City of Cardiff Council
GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Other Organisations – Sponsored by CompeteFor
Crown Commercial Service
Scottish Procurement – The Scottish Government