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Local Government Procurement Expo 2019: Transformation and Innovation

This year’s Local Government Procurement Expo (LGPE) showcase was held on Thursday 28 November at the Novotel London West in Hammersmith. As the premier event dedicated to the development of the UK local government procurement marketplace, and officially supported by the Local Government Association, LGPE remains an unmissable date in the public sector business calendar. Procurement professionals from across local government departments the length and breadth of the UK came together to discuss the major ongoing themes affecting the industry, from the embrace of social value to initiatives supporting smaller businesses, to drive efficient and effective procurement in this vital sector.

Increasing innovation in public procurement

Malcolm Harbour CBE at LGPE 2019

Malcolm Harbour CBE at LGPE 2019

One of the highlights of the day was the speech delivered by Malcolm Harbour, Chair of the Local Government Association Task and Finish Group on Public Procurement of Innovation, on how the procurement rules can be innovation-friendly if organisations know how to use them correctly. Mr Harbour said that driving innovation begins at the root of a company, with management responsible for creating “a culture in which you encourage people to think about new ways to do things and how you want to do them.” He further commented how “alternative procurement procedures including innovation partnerships, negotiations and working closely with suppliers in a commercial partnership” can inspire collaboration between buyers and suppliers. Lucy Patchett from Supply Management covered Mr Harbour’s speech in detail in an article, which you can read here.

Another key speaker was Kevin O’Malley, Innovation/SBRI Lead at Innovate UK. Mr O’Malley’s speech focused on how effective procurement strategies can help solve the complex public sector service challenges of today, with support for innovative SMEs at the heart of this endeavour. Lizzy Grayson’s session on supporting apprenticeships and Sarah Bass’s on ‘Preventing Modern Slavery in the Supply Chain’ continued the social value theme, with lively and informative discussions afterwards.

“A number of people came to speak to me afterwards and queued up… People wanted to share their experiences with me, and they also wanted to ask what we’d done and share documents with them which I was absolutely thrilled to do. One individual came up to me and said she’s aware of an individual who she believes is being trafficked into the UK and she’s struggling with what to do, so I’ve been able to support that. If there’s one thing I’ve done today [at LGPE] it’s preventing someone from being in modern slavery – which is just amazing.” – Sarah Bass, Commissioning, Procurement and Brokerage Service Delivery Manager at Telford and Wrekin Council

Transforming local government procurement

One interesting theme that was echoed throughout the event by all organisations, across the public and private sectors alike, was just how exciting a time it is to work in the UK local government procurement marketplace. Across the many special features and zones of the event, there was an overwhelmingly positive understanding of the sheer size of the opportunity available in the sector – and an appreciation that buyers and suppliers should work together to make a real difference to the lives of people across all our communities. Through many passionate speeches and insightful conversations, the message was truly delivered how imperative it is that events like LGPE exist to provide a platform for professionals to network and share experiences that can drive positive change.

Looking to the future

Thank you to all the 700-plus delegates who attended LGPE 2019, the 40-plus organisations that exhibited on the day and the 20-odd speakers who delivered such important and insightful sessions. We hope the impact of this year’s LGPE showcase will continue to be felt for a long time to come. Keep your eyes peeled for LGPE 2020 announcements and register your interest soon on the LGPE website.

 

New research reveals scale of public sector Brexit concerns

With the European Union having confirmed a delay to the UK’s departure from the EU, 31 October no longer marks ‘exit day.’ The so-called ‘flextension’ defers Brexit until the end of January, unless a deal is ratified before then. With the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement accepted in principle by Parliament, and an upcoming UK general election, the coming months will prove to be another crucial period in shaping precisely what form Brexit takes, and on what date the UK is no longer an EU member.

Against this backdrop, we are excited to reveal the results of our latest research survey, ‘Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Sector Buyers.’ This research project surveyed procurement leaders from throughout the public sector – from local and central government and the NHS to higher education and housing associations – for their predictions, concerns and aspirations around what effects Brexit will have on UK public procurement.

Ahead of our full key findings report, to be released soon, some of the survey’s headline statistics are below:

  • 58% of respondents feel that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ will have a worse effect on their procurement strategies than Brexit under the terms of a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement – with over half of this 58% suggesting the effect will be “significantly worse.” However, 31% of respondents believe that in terms of procurement, there will be no difference between a Brexit with or without a negotiated deal.

  • 45% of organisations say they still have no defined Brexit strategy in terms of supply chain management, with 61% of all respondents not currently having a strategy for a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

  • The most significant effect of Brexit for the public sector is believed to be the ability to control costs, with 66% of participants in our survey suggesting there will be either a high or medium impact in this area.

  • 61% of respondents are concerned about post-Brexit supply chain disruption affecting the delivery and quality of services.

  • A full 40% of respondents believe that Brexit will have little or no impact on their ability to engage with suppliers based outside the UK, and only 25% of buyers say they are concerned about their ability to engage with EU-based suppliers in future.

Our full survey report, detailing further findings and respondents’ profiles, will be available soon.

Visit www.bipsolutions.com/brexit to read all the latest updates, resources and guidance for what Brexit means for procurement. As the situation develops, BiP Solutions will continue to monitor the latest intelligence to provide you with the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance on the implications of Brexit on procurement, up to and beyond ‘exit day.’

UK National GO Awards 2019/20

Celebrating the best in public procurement from across the UK, this year’s National GO Awards took place on 30th April at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham.  The event brought together winners from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over the last 12 months with new entrants for a night of festivities and sharing of best practice, leadership and innovation.

The glittering black-tie event was hosted by TV presenter Sarah Heaney, and gave finalists to share their success stories and have their achievements recognised.

The event also saw an official opening address from Simon Tse, the Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service, who stressed the need to celebrate the sometimes under-appreciated wider importance of procurement in the UK.

This year there were 16 categories, plus the GO Excellence Award, with many categories from previous years split to recognise different types of organisation. This testifies to both the quantity and quality of entries. The judging panel, made up of experts in the field of procurement, stressed that this year’s batch of entries was among the strongest ever, with chair of the judging panel David Smith commenting that:

I believe the standard of the awards has improved greatly over the years. The winners in the categories this year are as good if not better than any other year.

See some of the highlights of the evening here:

GO Awards presentation

Although many of the evening’s winners and highly commended entrants represented previously recognised entries from the GO Awards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there were also many winners from among the new entrants. A full list of winners and highly commended entrants is below – congratulations to them all!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Local Authority, Consortia and Housing

Winner: Liverpool City Council
Highly Commended: Tai Tarian

Liverpool Council – clearly pleased to have won!

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations

Winner: Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture & AECOM
Highly Commended: Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management and Capability Team

GO Best Service Award – Micro and Small Businesses and Third Sector Organisations

Winner: Ingenica Solutions & Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended: AdviseInc Ltd.

GO Best Service Award – Medium & Large Organisations

Winner: Warmworks Scotland
Highly Commended: Hays & Birmingham City Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care

Winner: Scan4Safety & the Department of Health and Social Care
Highly Commended: Angus Council / Angus Health and Social Care Partnership
Highly Commended: Leicestershire County Council

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Health and Social Care (NHS Organisations)

Winner: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust & Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
Highly Commended: NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit & NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group
Highly Commended: NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support & NHS England

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kent Police & Essex Police
Highly Commended: Kirklees Council

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year

Winner: Transport Scotland – Forth Replacement Crossing

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Local Government & Other Organisations

Winner: North Yorkshire County Council
Highly Commended: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

GO Procurement Leadership of the Year Award – Central Government & Healthcare Organisations

Winner: Bank of England
Highly Commended: Office of National Statistics

GO Procurement Project of the Year Award (sub-£20m value)

Winner: Renfrewshire Council
Highly Commended: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Local Government and Consortia

Winner: North Lincolnshire Council
Highly Commended: NEPO

GO Procurement Project of the year award (above £20m value) – Other Organisations

Winner: Translink
Highly Commended: Department for International Development
Highly Commended: North of England Commissioning Support Unit & NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

Joint Winner: Leidos Supply Limited
Joint Winner: Cardiff Council

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Health and Social Care Organisations

Winner: NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
Highly Commended: Procurement and Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts & the Department of Health

GO Procurement Team of the Year Award – Local Government, Central Government and Other Organisations

Winner: Kirklees Council
Highly Commended: Network Homes
Highly Commended: North Yorkshire County Council

GO Excellence Award

Unlike other awards, the GO Excellence award cannot be entered. Instead, the nominations for this award were revealed on the evening of the ceremony, comprising a list of five of the overall strongest entries from across this year’s winning entrants, as decided by the expert judging panel.

The GO Excellence Award this year went to the team from Scan4Safety & the Department for Health and Social Care. The judging panel described this entry as

a major league project for a major league organisation – delivering significant benefits in a host of areas: efficiency, safety and cost management to name just three. A project that has required huge effort to coordinate, with an impressive list of benefits achieved and evidence of sharing of best practice.

Congratulations to the Scan4Safety team!

The GO Awards – next steps

While this year’s National GO Awards presentation may be over, check the GO Awards website over the coming weeks to learn more about the fascinating and inspiring stories behind some of the winning and highly commended entries.

In addition, the GO Awards Scotland 2019/20 will take place on 29th October with the GO Awards Wales following on 7th November. The entry process will begin soon – so why not share your procurement success story?

BiP Solutions launches second report in series exploring local government procurement

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

Download your exclusive copy of the report here.

Today, BiP Solutions is pleased to launch the second in our series of reports focusing on the changing landscape of public sector procurement. Our latest report considers the impact of this changing landscape for local government in an ever-evolving digital world.

The publishing of the Government’s Transformation Strategy effectively kickstarted the journey of digital transformation for Government with many local authorities taking advantage of the components available to them through GOV.UK.

In fact, across local government today, digital transformation is playing a significant role in meeting the needs and expectations of citizens. In light of this, our report considers the key digital trends and innovative approaches transforming service delivery for citizens. It also considers current spend within local government, with a particular focus on IT/Digital spend, and also draws on findings from recent research conducted by our colleagues at iGov Survey to highlight the specific procurement challenges and opportunities facing local government and the wider public sector.

Eddie Regan, PASS Training Consultant at BiP Solutions, said of this research:

The timing of the latest iGov Survey is quite appropriate, given the current uncertainty about Brexit and the continual questions about what impact it may or may not have on public procurement.

Early engagement, innovation and emerging new technologies all have a massive role to play in the future direction of public procurement. The public sector cannot afford to fall behind and this research highlights that whilst the sector is moving in the right direction, more does need to be done to upskill procurement teams and develop effective supplier relationships that deliver true value for all involvement in the procurement process, including and not forgetting, service users.’

Our report also reflects on our recent Procurex Events in Wales and Scotland and considers key ways take to get ahead if you are looking to tap into the local government marketplace, regardless of your prior experience of procurement.

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

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

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.