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BiP Knowledge Transfer Partnership examines search engine technology

BiP Solutions and The University of Strathclyde are currently undertaking a 2½ year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), part-funded by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency.

The KTP project team is led by Dr. Stuart Mackie, who completed his Ph.D. in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow (2018), specialising in information retrieval, natural language processing, machine learning, and data science.  Here Dr. Mackie explains what the aims of the KTP are, and discusses his recent presentation of a paper on behalf of the KTP at the world’s leading conference on search engine technology.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

BiP Solutions has partnered with the University of Strathclyde to access academic expertise in the areas of Information Retrieval, Machine Learning, and Data Science.  The aim of the KTP project is to embed key technical expertise within BiP Solutions in order to enable the development of the next generation of business intelligence products and services.  Specifically, the goal of the KTP project is to improve the relevance of search results of the procurement contracts search engine within BiP Solutions’ business intelligence solution, Tracker.  Further, the KTP project also aims to support data-driven decision making via promoting a culture of experimentation, evaluation and analysis.

The KTP project team is working to capture and leverage search user interaction data and deploy state-of-the-art machine learning technologies into BiP’s search engine products – to improve the relevance of search results for BiP customers. The KTP project team is also working to implement a redesigned search user experience, to deploy an online A/B testing infrastructure, and to develop evaluation metrics and an analytics dashboard for the Tracker product.

The KTP project builds on the work from a successful DataLab-funded project – focusing on search relevance engineering – where we built a domain-specific dataset (i.e., test collection) for evaluating Tracker’s procurement contracts search engine, and implemented a Lucene-based search engine evaluation framework for conducting a thorough evaluation of different search algorithms.

ACM SIGIR Conference

Recently, we participated in the ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval.  The SIGIR conference is the premier venue for the publication and dissemination of research relating to search engine technologies.  We presented a paper in the SIGIR 2019 Symposium on IR in Practice (Industry Track), along with presentations from Amazon Alexa, Netflix, Comcast Applied AI Research Lab, Facebook, University of Sheffield, Ancestry.com and Thomson Reuters, amongst others. You can read and download our paper here.

For businesses wishing to tender for competitive opportunities, finding relevant procurement contract notices presents a challenging professional search task.  This search task involves business users searching for economic opportunities, with high value associated with the outcomes.  Our paper outlined the “Challenges in Procurement Search”:

  • Query specification – search queries are user-curated complex Boolean expressions, often many hundreds of terms in length. How can we best capture user information needs?
  • Commercial Relevance – a contract matching a customer’s query terms may not be commercially relevant due to many business factors. How can we shape the relevance function to reflect this?
  • Temporal Relevance – businesses need to find contracts as soon as they are published, to maximise bid preparation time. How can we ensure customers receive relevant contracts as soon as they are available?
  • Data Sparseness – with lower click volumes observed compared to commercial web search engines, how can we bootstrap supervised machine learned models with less user interaction data?
  • Bias & Regulation – public procurement is a highly legislated area. How can we ensure that machine learned models and recommender systems are fair and unbiased?

The challenges we highlighted in this paper will be addressed throughout the KTP project as it continues.

 You can learn more about BiP’s range of digital business intelligence solutions here.

Procurement training at your own pace – one month to go

BiP Solutions are pleased to announce a launch date for our new online procurement training portal, building on the 35 years of experience and knowledge of the PASS Procurement team.

On 12th September we will be launching PASS e-Learning with the following six courses, with a further three scheduled for October:

  • Introduction to Public Procurement
  • Writing a Tender Specification
  • Contract Management
  • Evaluation Techniques
  • Preparing Perfect Tenders
  • Implementing the Selection Process

The PASS e-learning portfolio will continue to grow organically to deliver a variety of different procurement courses for both buyers and suppliers, as well as providing you with the latest best practice guidance and downloadable resources. Once purchased, the e-learning courses are available immediately, and can be completed at your own pace.

All courses will be available to buy individually starting at only £195 per course – or if you are looking to build a bespoke training programme for your organisation, then an Enterprise License allows up to 20 users and an unlimited number of courses for only £4800.

To  keep up to date with the launch of our new e-learning procurement service, along with an exclusive introductory offer that will only be available to people on our mailing list, register your interest now by clicking here.

New report: Social value, supply chain ethics and procurement legislation

BiP Solutions is pleased to launch our latest market report, ‘Is Procurement Good Business? Social value, supply chain management, legislation and innovation in the current procurement landscape.’

This report examines three of the most pressing themes in contemporary procurement: social value, ethical supply chains, and the relationship between legislation and innovation. Aside from specific political events, these three themes are perhaps the major issues that have the potential to reshape how procurement is practised across the UK in the near future.

Following Procurex National 2019, the flagship event in the UK public procurement calendar, hosted by BiP Solutions, this report includes expert analysis and comment from procurement leaders from the day. The clear message from both attendees and the expert speakers at Procurex National is that legislation, like social value and ensuring an ethical supply chain, can prove to be a source of opportunity to procurement. Rather than stopping competition or innovation, or enforcing arbitrary boundaries, all three key themes can in fact make for better business.

  • Social value is not only a legal requirement, but is also increasingly weighed into procurement requirements in many different sectors. We discuss how organisations can shape their own ‘social value’ position.
  • Supply chain ethics are important in an ever-more transparent age. Learn how buyers can make sure ethical business is factored into every stage of the supply chain.
  • Legislation and innovation can seem like they are at odds in procurement, but we look at how procurement legislation can work to spur innovation and improve efficiency.

The report includes comment from figures including Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply; Simon Tse, CEO of the Crown Commercial Service; and Mark Roberts, Continuous Commercial Improvement Director at the Cabinet Office. The report also describes key ways in which BiP Solutions can help you get ahead in procurement by supporting you to stand out in terms of social value, ensuring a robust and ethical supply chain, and working in the best way within the legislation.

Download your full copy of the report here to find out how to maximise your opportunities by keeping abreast of the latest burning issues in procurement.

Transforming healthcare procurement at P4H England

The UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, P4H England, returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 4 July 2019. The event welcomed over 1500 delegates from the NHS, the wider healthcare sector and the private sector supply chain, with a packed schedule including keynote talks, training and knowledge exchange sessions, and many opportunities for buyers and suppliers to meet and discuss their needs.

Many of the day’s sessions had standing room only, demonstrating both the quality of the talks on offer and the enthusiasm of the P4H audience.

You can see some of the day’s highlights here, and read more below:

Keynote Arena

The Keynote Arena witnessed a plethora of talks from procurement leaders from throughout the healthcare sector, as well as a motivational lecture from world-famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Chair Glen Hodgson kicked off the day by suggesting that “our job today is to avoid the noise and think strategically – focusing on the great work done by colleagues to make the NHS safe.” Stephen Foulser, Customer Engagement Director at NHS Supply Chain, delivered the first talk of the day, reflecting on a year of the new NHS Supply Chain Operating Model. Next up, Michael Pace, Managing Director of Corporate Services at the NHS London Procurement Partnership, stressed the importance of collaborative work to efficient procurement. Mr Pace said that despite the huge changes that have come to bear on NHS procurement over the last 12 months, and what he understands as areas where improvements still need to be made, there was much to be positive about.

“I’m more excited by the opportunities in front of me than I ever have been as an NHS procurement professional before.” – Michael Pace, Managing Director, Corporate Services, NHS London Procurement Partnership

Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ lecture proved to be the day’s main draw for many attendees, with delegates queueing several rows back from the Keynote Arena to hear about the explorer’s experiences over more than 50 years across Oman, the River Nile, Vancouver, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Sir Ranulph emphasised the importance of teamwork, framing all his expeditions as the achievements of a dedicated team. Aside from the focus on collaboration, the relevance of Sir Ranulph’s talk to a healthcare audience was made obvious through his sharing of several graphic photos detailing the after-effects of severe frostbite!

ranulph-fiennes-p4h-england

Sir Ranulph Fiennes delivers his keynote lecture

The afternoon at the Keynote Arena was equally busy, with talks including Pia Larsen, Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at University College London NHS Foundation Trust, delivering a detailed case study of what transforming procurement at a particular trust looks like. The theme of asking what ‘collaboration’ looks like, and how it can change NHS procurement, continued with two talks about the experience in different parts of Greater Manchester, from Neil Hind, Procurement Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and Joe Lever, Group Procurement Director at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group. The final keynote talk of the day saw Tom Wynne, Head of Procurement for London at NHS Improvement, talking about the forthcoming Procurement Target Operating Model, allowing delegates to see some of the ways in which NHS procurement is set to be reshaped in the coming months and years.

Market Support and Engagement Zone

The Market Support and Engagement Zone at P4H England 2019 allowed suppliers to understand how they could best engage earlier with buyers across the NHS and beyond. Teams representing Tracker, Supply2Gov, Cyber Essentials and Market Engagement heard first-hand about some of the challenges faced by the private sector and were able to offer expert advice on how to leverage best-in-class tools to improve tender win rates and identify strategic business opportunities. Delegates were also able to visit the on-stand juice blend bar, which proved unsurprisingly popular on a very warm day!

“We’d like to say a massive thank-you to Tru Foo, our juice suppliers, for keeping us and the delegates refreshed throughout the day. We had some really insightful conversations with suppliers looking to increase their visibility in the public sector market, and we hope that each of them left the stand with actionable information that helps them grow their business in this market.” – Susan Staley, Head of Digital Marketing, BiP Solutions

BiP Solutions customers were also offered exclusive access to the VIP lounge, providing a quiet space throughout the day to catch up with colleagues and emails, enjoy refreshments and attend several VIP-only talks.

Health Online

As the official media partner of P4H, Health Online was proud to be represented at the event. Interest in Health Online’s dedicated online healthcare community proved high, with a talk from Health Online Sales Manager Soafyaan Zia seeing delegates literally queueing out of the door to attend! You can learn more via Health Online’s own P4H review.

Soafyaan Zia delivering a talk on Health Online at P4H England

Soafyaan Zia’s talk introduced delegates to Health Online

What’s next?

Scotland’s and Wales’ procurement communities will come together later this year at Procurex Scotland on 29 October in Glasgow and Procurex Wales on 7 November in Cardiff. Register today or learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

There’s also still time to enter your procurement team or project for the prestigious GO Awards, with presentation ceremonies taking place on the evenings of Procurex Scotland and Procurex Wales. Share your procurement success stories here!

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

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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.’