Loading...

Building connections at the UK Infrastructure Show

Bigger and better than ever before, on 30th April the UK Infrastructure Show was back at the NEC, Birmingham for its third year.

The UK’s leading infrastructure and supply chain event was once again a roaring success, connecting buyers and suppliers on the main stage of the sector.

This year, the event combined with the UK Public Sector Expo and Procurex National, with UKIS2019 seeing 1,400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five speakers in the Keynote Arena, six Public Sector Solutions Live speakers, four Networking & Collaboration Zones, a Product Showcase Exhibition and the wealth of knowledge demonstrated in the four skills development zones throughout the event.

With over £600bn and 700 projects on the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the show had a huge range of information and opportunities on offer from some of the biggest names and projects within the infrastructure arena.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period, as reflected in the attendance numbers and buoyancy amongst the infrastructure community.

The Keynote stage

The Keynote stage, hosting some of the major players in the infrastructure sector, was the focus of the event. A very popular area of the show, at times it was standing room only as people jostled to hear the latest from the National Infrastructure Commission, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, HS2, the Department for Transport and Scape Procure.

Chaired by Stephen Kinnell of supply chain specialists CompeteFor, key themes coming through the informative keynote speeches were the need for collaboration, innovation and a long-term joined-up approach.

First up, Phil Graham, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, addressed the audience. He discussed how important infrastructure is to the country, as a key driver of the economy and improver of change.

Phil Graham from National Infrastructure Commission

Matthew Vickerstaff, Interim Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, followed, discussing how delivery of the National Infrastructure Pipeline will be achieved, looking at strategic investment, infrastructure priorities, and the challenges in improving infrastructure performance.

An informative session from Mark Howard, HS2 Chief Engineer, was up next. As Europe’s biggest infrastructure project currently underway, HS2 is a flagship for the infrastructure sector. Mr Howard told the packed room, that up to this point, the amount of track already built equals half the length of the UK – giving us some idea of the huge undertaking this project is.

Once again, the theme of collaboration and a joined up approach was key, with the support of organisations such as the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse crucial to successful delivery.

The next session was held by Catherine de Marco, Deputy Director Infrastructure, Skills and Efficiency at Department for Transport. Ms de Marco focused on the issues of skilled labour and the requirement for new, technology-minded individuals to be enticed into the construction, transport and infrastructure sectors.

Last to the podium was Adrian Hill, Acting Director of Frameworks at Scape Procure. An appropriate close to the arena, the essence of Scape Procure and Mr Hill’s address was to remind the audience that with all infrastructure projects, we are not just investing in the projects, but communities.

Attendees heard again, how collaboration, fair payment, continual improvement and adoption of new technologies and innovations was vital for the sector to ensure economic benefits from the investments.

Subsector zones

The excitement didn’t end with the keynote arena – the floor was host to many exhibitors, showcasing new trends, technologies and innovations to a captive audience.

Two zones, specifically designed to highlight the growing subsectors within infrastructure, were also available to delegates.

In Zone 1, The Energy and Social Infrastructure zone, attendees heard from a range of specialists and suppliers working in the sector.

Over in Zone 2, Transport, sessions from some of the leading figures in infrastructure development in the West Midlands spoke to a lively audience.

Next steps

We would like to thank all delegates, visitors, partners, sponsors and exhibitors at UKIS for helping to make such a successful show and representing an industry with huge potential for growth and development.

To register your interest or to discuss booking your 2020 exhibition or sponsorship package, click here.

 

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?

UK National GO Awards finalists announced

UK National GO Awards logo

The finalists for the UK National GO Awards have been announced.

Celebrating the best in all aspects of public procurement, the UK National GO Awards presentation ceremony will take place at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham on 30th April. The standard of entries this year was very high, so we would like to extend our congratulations to all nominees, and thank everyone who entered.

All entries have been reviewed by our judging panel comprised of experts from across UK procurement. You can learn more about the judges here. We would like to thank all members of the panel for their time.

The full list of finalists is as follows:

GO Best Service Award – Medium and Large Organisations

  • Lyreco
  • Warmworks Scotland
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Hays and Birmingham City Council
  • EDF Energy, CCS, SP, TEC and NEPO
  • GRI

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

  • Re-Tek
  • AdviseInc Ltd.
  • NHS Shared Business Services
  • Ingenica Solutions and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cadence Innova Ltd

GO Emerging Procurement Talent Award

  • Leidos Supply Limited
  • Cardiff Council
  • Scotland Excel

GO Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
Sponsored by Site Diary

  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Transport Scotland:  A737 Dalry Bypass Project
  • Transport Scotland: A9 Dualling: Kincraig to Dalraddy
  • Transport Scotland: Forth Replacement Crossing

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

  • CPD
  • Clonallon Laboratories Ltd
  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • Leicester City Council and Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Thames Valley Police
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • Scan4Safety, Department of Health and Social Care

GO Procurement Innovation of the Year Award – Taking the procurement function forward – NHS Health and Social Care
Sponsored by Blue Badger

  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • NHS Lancashire Procurement Cluster
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: Managed Service for the Provision of Digital Transformation Solutions
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: On-site Surgical and Medical Capacity Solutions
  • South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  • NHS Wales Informatics Service

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

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • West London Alliance
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • National Commercial Board
  • Public Power Solutions, Swindon Borough Council
  • Kent Police and Essex Police
  • Sandwell Council
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Transport Scotland
  • Kirklees Council
  • Bank of England

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

  • Angus Council
  • University of Strathclyde, DHI, NHS NSS and the Scottish Government
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
  • Scotland Excel
  • STAR Procurement
  • North Yorkshire County Council

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

  • Office for National Statistics
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bank of England

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

  • Angus Council/Angus Health & Social Care Partnership
  • NEPO
  • North Yorkshire County Council and Nynet
  • London Boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Redbridge (WELR)
  • Taunton Deane Borough Council
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Kirklees Council

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

  • NHS Wales Informatics Service
  • Police Scotland
  • Translink
  • NHS Wales Informatics Services
  • Crown Commercial Service: Facilities Management Marketplace
  • Crown Commercial Service: Media Buying “cutting-edge” procurement
  • Department for International Development
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit and NHS England (Specialised Commissioning, North Region)
  • Transport for Wales, Infrastructure Advisory UK Ltd, Steer and Mott McDonald
  • Translink

GO Procurement Project of the year award (sub-£20m value)
Sponsored by PlanLink 

  • Renfrewshire Council
  • Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Shared Infrastructure Service and others
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU
  • Birmingham City University
  • NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, and East Leicestershire & Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Scotland Excel and SEEMiS
  • Thames Valley Police
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership
  • Sedgemoor District Council
  • NHS Shared Business Services and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

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

  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Serivces
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH)
  • North of England Commissioning Support Unit
  • NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support and NHS England
  • Northern Care Alliance Procurement Team (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust & Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • NHS Wales – Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP)
  • The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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

  • Translink: Future Ticketing System (TFTS)
  • Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Services
  • Network Homes
  • Crown Commercial Service
  • Translink: Procurement Team
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Digital Commercial Team
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • National LGPS Frameworks
  • Crown Prosecution Service: Procurement and Commercial Services Team
  • Kirklees Council
  • Transport Scotland
  • Leicestershire Police FHQ
  • Procurement & Logistics Service (a subsidiary of the Business Services Organisation) partnering with all Health and Social Care Trusts and the Department of Health
  • NHS Scotland National Procurement Equipping Sourcing Team, working with NSS Health Facilities Scotland Equipping Team
  • University of Strathclyde

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

  • Welshpool Town Council
  • Wirral Council
  • NEPO
  • Cardiff Council
  • North Yorkshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Parklife
  • Liverpool City Council: Liverpool Adult Learning Service
  • Tai Tarian

GO Social and Community Benefit in Procurement Award – Other Organisations
Sponsored by Edenred 

  • Construction Impact Framework, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and University of Salford
  • Re-tek UK Ltd
  • NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership – Procurement Services
  • Birmingham City University
  • St Georges University Hospital Foundation Trust
  • NHS Arden & GEM CSU, West Midlands Combined Authority, NHS Wolverhampton CCG and Social Finance
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Scottish Government – SG Procurement, Contract Management & Capability Team
  • Translink
  • Department for Infrastructure, Graham Farrans Joint Venture, AECOM

Brexit: What happens now for procurement?

Man looking at crossroads with UK flag colours

[Updated: 14/03/2019]

Although the outcome of two major parliamentary votes on Brexit is now clear, very little has actually changed legally – for now. A lot remains to be decided over the coming days and weeks, and various Brexit scenarios remain possible. Here we briefly outline the possibilities and what they might mean for UK procurement.

For more detail on the implications of the different possible outcomes, download our five-page factsheet, ‘Procurement After Brexit.’

What has happened and what is next?

This week Parliament has voted to reject both the withdrawal deal that Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the EU, and the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal. There will now be a further vote (on 14th March) as to whether to request an extension to Article 50 and delay the date the UK leaves the European Union. A third vote on the previously-negotiated deal is now scheduled “before or on” 20th March.

Even though parliament has voted to reject a ‘no-deal Brexit’, the UK could still leave the EU without a deal if the ‘EU27’ countries do not agree to extend the Article 50 negotiation period.  Moreover, the scope and effect of any proposed extension remains to be seen. The current legal default position is for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on 29th March.

What if the UK does not leave on 29th March?

It’s worth reiterating that, until the UK formally leaves the EU, it is a full member of the EU. This means that, if there is an extension to Article 50, there will be little legislative difference from the current situation – pending any changes in UK or EU law in the interim.

When the UK does leave the EU, current guidance is that procurement rules as they stand now will be written into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Under current guidance, any procurement procedures that are ongoing when the extension period ends will continue under the same regulations as now until an award is made.

However, the possibility of ‘no deal’ remains real in spite of the recent parliamentary vote, which has no legislative force.

What if there is a ‘no-deal Brexit’?

The Government has repeatedly assured that most regulations around procurement will remain the same regardless of the outcome of Brexit, as the majority of the relevant EU regulations are already written into UK and Scottish law.

It was also announced recently that the UK would be able to join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) as an independent member if there is no deal, meaning that UK businesses will be able to continue to bid for contracts in the GPA’s member countries and blocs.

However, in other ways a ‘no-deal Brexit’ would represent major change for UK procurement. UK companies wishing to continue to work with the EU will need to apply for an EORI number. Given the possibility of ‘no deal’ – and that the Government advises that applying for an EORI number takes “around 10 minutes” – companies may want to consider the importance of applying for an EORI number even if it is ‘just in case.’

There is also the possibility that if there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, UK organisations will no longer be able to access OJEU. To learn more about the full implications of this, how companies can reduce the amount of action they will need to take, and an in-depth examination of the consequences of different possible Brexit scenarios, download our factsheet, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal.’

A ‘no deal’ exit is now more likely than before, and the situation remains subject to much change over the next week. For the latest news, its specific consequences for procurement, and Government guidance documents, visit our dedicated Brexit page.

To learn more about how BiP Solutions can help with your contract and tendering needs, visit www.bipsolutions.com or call (+44) 0141 332 8247.

New Brexit Guidance for Procurement

Business people figurines shaking hands on map of Europe

The Government has released new guidance specifically aimed at those working in public procurement as to what the effect of the various possible Brexit outcomes will be for the industry.

The Procurement Policy Note (PPN), ‘Preparing the UK for Leaving the EU’, sets out guidance that will be applicable as soon as the UK leaves the EU, scheduled for 29th March. The guidance aims to cover all potential outcomes, whether or not the UK has negotiated a withdrawal deal with the EU. The PPN clarifies areas including how procurement notification requirements in the different constituent countries of the UK will be affected, the currently assumed length and scope of an ‘implementation period’, and – most crucially – the changes that suppliers will have to make if there is a ‘no-deal’ exit.

The PPN and explanatory notes can be accessed here.

BiP Solutions is specifically named in the explanatory ‘frequently asked questions’ supplement to the PPN, as one of the first e-senders to announce plans to integrate with the new, UK-specific tenders notification service that may supersede the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) in the case of ‘no deal.’ This represents a potential major change for UK suppliers and how they do business. To find out more, read our recently updated guidance document, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal‘, which complements the Government’s PPN.

For the latest updates on what Brexit means for procurement, visit BiP Solutions’ dedicated Brexit page.

Registration necessary to work with EU after Brexit

Woman at verify login page on computer screen

As preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU intensify, procurement professionals should ensure they are aware of the requirements to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number.

Late February’s announcement that UK businesses will be able to continue to trade with members of the GPA in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ is undoubtedly welcome. However, businesses need to take steps to make sure that they will individually be able to do business internationally after 29th March. The primary requirement for businesses looking to continue to work with the EU will be to have an EORI number.

An EORI number is a requirement for moving goods into or out of the EU. The purpose of an EORI number is to allow HMRC to identify your company and collect the appropriate duties. If you do not have an EORI number, you may face delays and even increased costs, for example storage fees if HMRC cannot clear the goods involved in your transaction.

In the event that the UK leaves the European Union without a negotiated deal, you will need an EORI number to continue trading with the EU. This requirement will be effective as of ‘exit day.’

You can apply for an EORI number now even if you do not use it. While the situation around a potential deal between the UK and EU remains dynamic, the possibility of ‘no deal’ means that businesses that currently work with the EU may want to consider the importance of an EORI number. The Government advises that the application process should take less than ten minutes. Ensure that you have all the information you need to apply by viewing the Government’s advice here.

To learn more about how public procurement could be affected by various possible Brexit scenarios, click here to view BiP’s updated factsheet, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal.’

International market remains open after Brexit

Business people shaking hands in airport with world map

It has been confirmed that British businesses will be able to continue bidding for contracts from across the world after the UK leaves the European Union.

In the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, the UK will join the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) as an independent member, as confirmed by the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The 19 members of the GPA include such major economies as Japan, the USA, Canada, Israel and the EU. The UK’s membership of the Agreement will mean that British businesses will be able to continue to bid on public sector contracts from other countries on much the same terms as currently. The reciprocal agreement allows businesses from across the world to continue to bid on £67 billion worth of public sector contracts in the UK, while British suppliers will be able to bid on £1.3 trillion worth of contracts in many different countries.

Grahame Steed, eSourcing and Business Intelligence Director at BiP Solutions, said:

“Clarity on the UK’s membership of the General Procurement Agreement post-Brexit is positive news. The international market for public sector contract opportunities is massive, so businesses should be encouraged that this market remains open, even after the UK exits the EU.”

If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the UK will join the GPA as an independent member as quickly as possible. There may be a short delay for the GPA to take legal effect in the event of a ‘no-deal’ exit, but this is likely to last less than a month and the Government assures that “disruption to businesses is likely to be minimal.” If a negotiated withdrawal deal between the UK and EU includes an Implementation Period, the UK will remain a member of the GPA under EU schedules.

To learn more about the full effect of different potential Brexit outcomes on UK procurement, and what suppliers can do to reduce the level of action they’ll need to take, read our updated guidance document, ‘Procurement After Brexit: Deal or No Deal’ here.

The full Government press release on GPA membership can be read here.

Deadline approaching for the UK National GO Awards

UK National GO Awards logo

There’s still time to submit your entry for the UK National GO Awards before the deadline of Friday 1st March.

The GO Awards celebrate the best in public procurement from throughout the UK, recognising contributions from the public, private and third sectors. Entering the awards gives you the opportunity to raise your profile, share best practice with your peers, and have your organisation’s procurement success story recognised. Learn more and enter the awards here.

As well as the prestige of a nomination, there’s the networking opportunities afforded by the GO Awards presentation ceremony. Whether you are a supplier to or a buyer for the public sector, the GO Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate procurement excellence, gain best practice insight and meet fellow procurement professionals at the networking opportunity of the year. Taking place on the evening of Procurex National, 30th April, the exclusive, black-tie UK National GO Awards ceremony will be held this year at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, Birmingham.

Grahame Steed, Business Intelligence and e Sourcing Director at BiP Solutions, said of the awards:

 It’s hard to believe that the submissions deadline for the National UK GO Awards is so near – 1st March, in case you don’t have it in your diary. With so much change happening across the public sector, the recognition of consistent excellence and best practice is more important than ever before. We’re looking forward to once again recognising and celebrating progress across the entire public sector supply chain, culminating with the Awards ceremony on 30th April. I urge all organisations across the public sector – and those working with them – to take the time to enter these Awards.

To view all the categories of awards, learn more and submit your entry today, click here.

To find out more about BiP Solutions, visit www.bipsolutions.com.

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

Brexit latest: publishing contracts if there’s no deal

Crowds representing UK and EU flags

After a tumultuous week in Westminster, the situation surrounding the UK’s exit from the EU continues to be dynamic. Although the ‘meaningful vote’ of 15th January has now taken place, and the Government has survived a no-confidence vote,  much remains to be decided and clarified – not least before the next vote, currently scheduled for 29th January.

However, preparations are underway for various outcomes, and what their effect will be for public procurement in the UK. At BiP Solutions, we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure it continues to be ‘business as usual’ for our customers post 29th March and are pleased to share the update below.

What has the Government said about ‘no deal’?

As previously described in a technical note published in September, the Government has stated that it will ensure that the regulation for public procurement will continue to function in the “unlikely event” of a ‘no-deal’ exit. Current regulations will be adapted as necessary to remain in operation, should this situation arise. The Government reassures that most procurement regulations “will remain exactly the same.”

What might change?

If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal deal being agreed, the key change for public procurement will be that contracting authorities would be required to send notices to a new, UK-specific e-notification service. This would replace the need to send to the EU Publications Office and Tenders Electronic Daily. Advertising in Contracts Finder, MOD Defence Contracts Online, Public Contracts Scotland, Sell2Wales and eTendersNI would remain a requirement, as is currently the case.

As a leading e-Sender, BiP Solutions has been working closely with the Cabinet Office to develop this new service.

What will reduce the level of action needed?

As we understand the Cabinet Office’s current guidance, contracting authorities which currently use an ‘e-Sender’, a third-party provider, to submit publications to the EU Publications Office will be able to continue with this approach, regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations. However, this is dependent on e-Senders also completing the integration process to send notices to the new UK-specific e-notification service, should this be enacted.

Simon Burges, CEO of BiP Solutions, said:

I am delighted to say that BiP Solutions were one of the first e-Senders in the UK to confirm to the Cabinet Office that we will integrate our services with the new UK e-notification service. This is great news for our customers, since any authority working with BiP will need to take very little action to change their current method of publishing contracts, unlike other e-Senders who may be required to publish notices manually.

This year, we celebrate our 35th anniversary and whilst our operation has grown considerably in size and scope over the years, our core values remain unchanged. We will continue to remain at the heart of the buyer/supplier relationship and support our customers through all stages of their procurement journey, and that includes providing advice and guidance – deal or no deal.

Contracting authorities who work with other e-Senders or who submit their notices directly to the EU Publication Office may need to publish their notices manually to the new UK notification service. Information as to how to do this has not yet been released, meaning that these organisations will have to await further advice depending on future developments.

To find out more about how BiP Solutions can help with your contract and tendering needs, visit www.bipsolutions.com or call (+44) 0141 332 8247.