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Brexit: A Buyer Perspective

Brexit Buyer Perspective

The possibilities for post-Brexit public sector procurement are endless: for instance, it could reduce the legislative burden on suppliers or allow UK buyers to favour national goods/services.

While there is real potential for positive change, nothing will be known for sure until Brexit negotiations are completed. However, if you are working within the UK marketplace it is natural to want to prepare for the future.

So instead of listening to the naysayers, why not listen to public sector buyers who have sound knowledge of the subject?

Brexit: A Buyer Perspective hears from UK public sector buyers, revealing their forecasts for post-Brexit procurement reform, as well as opinions on how changes could be capitalised upon.

Written in layman’s terms, A Buyer Perspective shows the survey results from a cross-section of UK procurement officials, with detailed analysis of the results.

The report examines public sector buyer opinion across a range of topics including Brexit’s impact on future procurement activities, thresholds and procedures, along with the possibility of favouring bids from UK suppliers.

Free to download as a PDF, Brexit: A Buyer Perspective can be consumed on the go or easily printed.

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Digital Strategies in Government Procurement: Procurex Wales

CarenFullertonIn anticipation of her presentation at Procurex Wales Live on 6 October at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, entitled Digital Strategy for Welsh Government, Caren Fullerton, Chief Digital Officer at the Welsh Government, spoke to BiP Solutions journalist Domhnall Macinnes about the importance of having a good digital strategy in central government procurement.

Caren Fullerton worked for the Welsh Government as an analyst for 15 years before moving on to such roles as Head of ICT for the Welsh Government’s agriculture department and Head of Corporate Services at the International Property Office, among others.

She said: “In my current role I’m responsible for providing leadership on the Welsh Government’s own digital services and digital delivery and also for some aspects of data. My team are also looking at opportunities to do things differently with respect to ICT services and unified communications.”

In April 2015, the Welsh Government published Digital First, a strategy outlining the Government’s approach to driving digital change in the public sector. Digital First aims to stimulate the provision of a variety of good-quality online services for citizens and businesses in Wales.

Mrs Fullerton explained: “A key principle underpinning Digital First is the ability to use digital to generate efficiencies and deliver value for money. Digital First is not overly prescriptive and instead provides a framework to drive improvements; we are already beginning to see some really tangible deliveries as a result of the strategy. We have also recently published an open data plan for Welsh Government, the principles of which are repeatable across the public sector. We already publish a vast amount of open data and the plan will stretch us even further. A USP for Welsh Government is that our data is bilingual and therefore valuable to a variety of people all over Wales.”

Mrs Fullerton also noted that the introduction of the National Procurement Service has had a positive impact on how suppliers and government do business all over the UK.

She continued: “I think it’s important to remember that Wales has a distinct policy agenda when it comes to digital development and digital approaches. Nevertheless, our citizens and businesses receive many of their services from Whitehall departments so I think it’s important that suppliers of services in Wales understand both the differences and our common ground in order to deliver the best quality products for us. This also helps their credibility when they look at developing themselves as suppliers to the rest of the UK.”

Mrs Fullerton touched on the vital importance of having a well thought-out digital strategy in central government procurement, benefiting both government and the supply chain.

She commented: “You want your suppliers to have done their homework up front when they are bidding for work so that the procurement process goes quickly and smoothly for them and for you. Also, these days it’s more likely that our procurements involve limited competition with a group of suppliers who themselves have already been through a framework contract procurement process.”

Mrs Fullerton briefly explored what the Welsh Government looks for in a supplier.

She said: “I’ve met suppliers that have come with really great products they’re potentially interested in trying to sell to Wales, but because they haven’t done their research on a lot of the things that matter to the public sector in Wales and the Welsh Government, they’re not really able to compete for that work. Do your research first!”

Rounding off the session, Mrs Fullerton provided a snippet from her upcoming talk at Procurex Wales and discussed the value of Meet the Buyer events.

Discussing the importance of digital change, she said: “I think the talk is mostly going to be around how digital change is about completely transforming the way in which your business operates. It is about rethinking how you deliver your service, sometimes through a very different business model. Examples from the private sector include Uber and Airbnb, where people have completely rethought how the transaction between the buyer and seller takes place and then built an IT system and new processes to deliver that. This radical rethinking also applies to how we need to transform the public sector.”

She concluded: “I think for buyers, events like Procurex are an opportunity to step back a bit and think about what it is you’re doing, while learning from the past experiences of others.”

Procurex Wales will be a hub for opportunity when private sector delegates and key public sector representatives descend onto the floor of the Motorpoint Arena for a day of networking. To gather fantastic tips about digital change from Mrs Fullerton’s speech and to seize the opportunity to gain much more, register for Procurex Wales Live 2016 today.

P4H 2016 review

P4H 2016The air was electric with possibility at the NEC, Birmingham on 13 July for this year’s P4H conference and exhibition. Representatives from both the public and private sectors descended on the venue from across the UK to learn about the latest developments in healthcare procurement, network with their peers and build new and lasting business relationships. Here, BiP Solutions journalist Domhnall Macinnes recounts some of the events of the day.

Opportunity began in the keynote arena at P4H 2016 – The Procurement Event for Health, held on 13 July at the NEC, Birmingham.

Kicking off the keynote speeches was meeting chair Professor Duncan Eaton, Executive Advisor at the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group, who launched the audience into an enthralling series of addresses which set the tone for the day and encapsulated the value of P4H, attracting delegates from all corners of the venue.

Professor Eaton said: “The event today intends to bring together those from the procurement world and suppliers to listen and talk and be informed and contribute to the future of health procurement. This keynote arena is a major part of the programme. We’ve put together a range of speakers to tell us about current initiatives and their views of the future.”

Renowned names in procurement such as Managing Director of Marc1 Ltd Colin Cram proceeded to inform the packed arena about emerging developments in the healthcare procurement landscape. Mr Cram’s talk, entitled ‘Brexit – The challenges and opportunities for NHS procurement’, was one not to be missed.

Following his speech, Mr Cram commented: “What I’d really like for people to take from my speech today is that they need to raise their game in procurement. Instead of looking at ways of just saving procurement costs and reducing prices, see what opportunities and what products there are available that will help reduce NHS costs overall.”

He continued: “All of the smaller companies find it almost impossible to engage with NHS hospitals as they’d have to try and sell to them one by one. Small companies do not have the resources to do so.

“I reckon that if procurement people took advantage of the opportunities out there – doing things differently – the potential savings for the NHS and the benefits to patients would be immeasurable.”

Professor Eaton also introduced Pat Mills, Commercial Director, Department of Health, who delivered a stimulating address enititled ‘NHS Procurement – The National Programme’. Mr Mills discussed the value of making savings within the NHS and the immeasurably valuable things that could be done with these savings.

Later in an interview, he reflected on his speech: “The key message I would like people to take away with them today is about money. Money is critical. We want to go about making savings, and procurement is a great way of doing that. The procurement community as a whole in general can deliver maybe £1 billion worth of savings. That’s two hospitals a year. But we’ve got to work together.”

Within the event’s dedicated buyer and supplier zones, stakeholders from across the public and private sector took advantage of the various hubs offering networking and advice. At the Best Practice Case Study Zone, delegates were offered a unique opportunity to learn from the past successes of others through explanatory presentations. Nick Hodgson, Supplier Development Advisor for the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, was at the zone co-presenting on the Savings Swap Shop, a programme which has enabled ten NHS trusts in the south west of England and beyond to save in excess of £850,000 through sharing ideas for efficiencies in procurement.

Mr Hodgson said: “It’s important for people to attend events such as P4H for the same principle as our message today. It’s about collaboration – getting together and realising that everyone in different hospitals and different organisations is actually working on the same projects. So they may have a better way of working on things which can help us save time, find efficiencies and ultimately save money as well.”

On the arena floor, partners, exhibitors and sponsors networked throughout the day with stakeholders, meeting delegates at their stands to plant the seeds of blossoming new relationships.

Naomi Clews, Senior Category Lead at the Crown Commercial Service, mused on the vital role P4H plays and why the CCS acted as an official partner to the event: “We absolutely want to make ourselves visible to as many suppliers and customers, especially within the NHS, as possible. Bringing buyers and suppliers together is really important. It’s the only way that we can learn and innovate and get better for our customers in the NHS. The information that we gain at P4H is the information that we take back to redevelop some of our strategies.”

Building upon this year’s success, next year’s event promises to deliver even more opportunities to buyers and suppliers in the healthcare sector. With yet another busy schedule of engagement, advice and professional development, P4H will return in summer 2017.

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Public Procurement after Brexit: BiP Business Analysis

Brexit Procurement

It’s Business As Usual for Public Sector Procurement

Many of our public and private sector clients have been asking how the EU referendum vote will impact public sector procurement. The short answer is “not a lot”. The slightly longer answer is contained in BiP Solutions’ latest business analysis – Public Procurement After Brexit.

BiP’s Principal Consultant Eddie Regan spends most of his waking hours either immersed in procurement regulations or running training workshops on how they impact buyers and suppliers.

Eddie has helped BiP clients understand countless regulatory changes over the years and in this Business Analysis, he gives us his expert opinion on the potential impact of Brexit.

How important is the public sector market?

In the financial year 2014/15, the public sector spent approximately £263 billion on goods, works and services, making it the largest marketplace for UK suppliers. It helps drive the UK economy, providing revenue and jobs for thousands of businesses.
The market is open to suppliers of all sizes, as Treasury figures from 2014/15 showed 27.1% of central government buying was with small businesses, either directly (10.9%) or through the supply chain (16.2%).

The Report

Written in layman’s terms, Public Procurement after Brexit: BiP Business Analysis examines current UK procurement procedures and the way in which they are likely or unlikely to change after Brexit.

Report author Eddie Regan said: “If the UK exits the European Union but joins the European Economic Area, there is likely to be little change if any – the one key difference is we won’t have a voice at the negotiating table for future Directives, but we will probably comply voluntarily, just like Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.”

What should Suppliers do?

Unsure of Post-Brexit procurement changes, some suppliers fear getting caught up in changing contract law.

However, with much EU procurement legislation heavily influenced by UK priorities, UK procurement is unlikely to change dramatically following Brexit.

If anything, the public sector should become more attractive to UK suppliers.

One of the main concerns for many firms, including those not currently active in the public sector will be the potential loss of revenue from their existing markets. Aside from the obvious threat to exports, nervousness over the economy might encourage UK customers – both consumers & businesses – to tighten their belts or look for better deals elsewhere.

That’s why now could in fact be the perfect time to start looking at the public sector!

And that’s an outcome that would be good for suppliers AND buyers.

To discover more about the market opportunities read Public Procurement after Brexit: BiP Business Analysis

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Leading Healthcare Procurement Innovation: P4H

P4H

Revolution is coming to the NHS, with efficiency at its heart. Spurring this efficiency drive is the UK Government commissioned Review of Operational Productivity in NHS providers, which set the NHS the goal of making 10-15% real-terms cost savings by April 2021. Here, BiP journalist Julie Shennan examines the report’s recommendations and how the forthcoming P4H conference – on 13 July, at the NEC Birmingham – can help suppliers meet them.

Background

In 2015, Lord Patrick Carter forecast that £5bn annually could be saved by encouraging NHS England Trusts to use the same e-tendering portals and key performance indicators, as well as by improving purchase ordering and staff attendance levels.

These guidelines were contained in the Carter Review of Operational Productivity (an Independent Report for the Department of Health) commissioned in 2014, drafted in 2015 and finalised in 2016. In this Review, Lord Carter compared 22 leading English hospitals to see how the NHS could get best value for money.

Wider picture

Although concentrating on operational productivity across the NHS in England, the Carter Review has relevance for all the home nations of the UK, with health authorities facing universal pressures of ageing populations and tightening budgets that require efficiencies to be made.

This challenge was acknowledged by BSO Health and Social Care Executive Director of Operations (UK and Ireland) Sam Waide, who said: “One of the big issues the health and social care sector faces is greater demand for community services. This is a positive thing for patients, as they get more tailored care, but it also brings strain on decreasing budgets.”

Recommendations

Recognising the need for NHS buyers and private sector suppliers to deliver more services with fewer resources, Lord Carter proposed changes that could tighten the supply chain.

He suggested:

  • Improving workflow by minimising absences;
  • Optimising hospital pharmacies, medicines and estates;
  • Unifying NHS ordering into one e-procurement catalogue;
  • Sharing best practice models to promote good procurement.

Government agenda

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is now calling on the NHS to ensure every penny is spent in the most effective way for patients to improve standards of care while reducing costs. The Government particularly wants to see lessons learnt by hospitals that are not as efficient as they could be across all areas of their work, thereby driving bigger gains for patient care.

Mr Hunt said: “Nothing better embodies our belief in ‘one nation’ than the NHS, so I want to see a seven-day health service that delivers for working people. That means cutting out the waste and making sure every penny counts so that the quality of care continues to improve.”

How P4H can help

Both Mr Hunt and Lord Carter suggest sharing best practice is essential to smart health procurement. However, the vast size of the sector can mean that healthcare buyers and suppliers often miss the chance to learn from their peers.

This is where P4H, the UK’s premier healthcare procurement event, can help.

On 13 July 2016, at the NEC Birmingham, P4H will welcome hundreds of healthcare buyers and suppliers, from all parts of the UK supply chain.

The event will facilitate professional networking in the dedicated Buyer Engagement Village, Product Showcase Exhibition and Collaboration Zones. Knowledge sharing will be high on the agenda in the P4H Keynote Arena, where healthcare thought leaders will discuss their experiences and give pointers to future best practice. Finally, in tailored workshop settings, the P4H Best Practice Case Study Zone and Procurement Advice Hub will give guidance to those seeking to implement procurement change.

All this advice will be backed with procurement training in the P4H Buyer Skills Development,Supplier and eProcurement Training Zones.

Gain these and many more invaluable healthcare insights.

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Referendum Reflection for British Business: Professor Bovis

Bovis

With Britain facing a European referendum on 23 June many questions remain about the implications of Brexit for the UK supply chain. Here BiP Solutions reporter Julie Shennan hears from European Procurement law expert Professor Christopher Bovis on the way the decision could shape British business.

Christopher Bovis JD, MPhil, LLM, FRSA is Professor of Business Law at the Business School of the University of Hull. He is an internationally renowned specialist in European public procurement who, in 2011, was leader of an EU/United Nations procurement training scheme.

Having written extensively on European business in publications including the European Public Private Partnerships Law Review and Encyclopaedia of Competition Law, the professor has given considerable thought to the implications of the EU referendum for business in the UK.

He encouraged others to share his interest, stressing that the referendum would impact the whole supply chain.

Prof Bovis said:

Businesses of all sizes must prepare themselves for the referendum by educating themselves. Big businesses have done this quite well; however, SMEs are still ill-prepared.

“The Stay Camp [Britain Stronger in Europe] must address the SME business community and make them aware of the implications of a Brexit.”

Brexit [Vote Leave] rhetoric argues that SMEs export less so – to them – the advantages of membership of the EU’s common market are outweighed by its tax and legislative burden.

Professor Bovis explained that he believed this rhetoric to be inaccurate: “In theory, UK businesses could have more autonomy if there were a Brexit. They could release themselves from the bureaucracy of Brussels, plan ahead and decide the countries with which to do business. But in reality it would be completely the opposite.

“Autonomy is only wishful thinking; most of the European rules (on things like business takeovers and acquisitions) are heavily influenced by the UK procurement codes of practice. It is impossible to claim that a Brexit would cut red tape, as the UK helped to create this red tape.”

Procurement bureaucracy, Prof Bovis said, would be further complicated by a Brexit.

He explained: “If there were a Brexit, the biggest challenges UK business would face would be trying to implement an alternative corporate rules system. If you were going to enter the common market, which promotes freedom of goods and freedom of movement, then you would have to implement a system that has similar freedoms of capital and labour, but also in revenue or customs.

“Trade systems need to create a depth of integration between different countries and sectors in order to benefit from economies of scale.”

Any change in legislation and trade agreements would, Prof Bovis said, create economic uncertainty that would shake inward investment.

He added: “There would be a disincentive for countries to inwardly invest in the UK, as the fundamental freedoms of investment and capital would be removed, so companies wouldn’t be sure of the UK tax systems. The service and investment community would be handicapped for many years to come.”

This, Prof Bovis said, would have a knock-on effect on the UK’s critical national infrastructure: “The UK doesn’t publicise it, but it is one of the global leaders in attracting foreign investment to its service markets, such as the utility sector.

“To lose this framework of freedom in provision of services in the UK would create a market segmentation which would be detrimental.”

While internal investment would be complicated, Prof Bovis said the greatest impact of a Brexit would be seen in the exports market.

He explained: “UK companies would lose the opportunity to compete unlimitedly in the areas of the European market and its engagement with World Trade Organisation markets would be complicated by its change in government procurement structure.”

“A Brexit would take a huge chunk out of UK exports in the first year and this downward trend would continue year upon year, because worldwide competition is dynamic and without the benefits of the European common market the UK would be lost.”
One of these benefits, Prof Bovis explained, is EU market subsidies.

He said: “In the case of a Brexit, the agricultural industry would be decimated because it would take the subsidies away from the production and distribution of agricultural products, leaving a huge gap in the funding that brings the products to market.

“If the CAP and the fisheries funding was removed from UK, these industries would be detrimentally affected.”

However, Prof Bovis acknowledged that other industries may – temporarily – benefit from a Brexit.

He said: “I suspect that the service industries would benefit in the short term from a Brexit. This would be because it is an inward looking industry, so it could avoid competition from outside the UK. However, the industry would only benefit temporarily, as exclusion from the EU would hinder its productivity and chances of expansion.”

The limitations of a Brexit are recognised by the ‘Stay Camp’, which has the backing of the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Mr Tusk drafted the report which formed the basis of the negotiation of an alternative EU membership deal for the UK.

Talking of the Tusk Deal, Prof Bovis said it was a good starting point.

He added:

The Tusk deal would provide some discretion in applying the EU levels of control in procurement. It would also provide a blueprint for a safeguard against monetary union. Monetary union didn’t work 100% for the Eurozone, so this Tusk deal would rule against the UK adopting the Euro or shouldering the burden of European welfare state.”

But he said the deal needed development, explaining: “The Tusk deal fails to answer many of the issues the Brexit camp has around the welfare state and immigration.”

Concluding, Prof Bovis reiterated his call for business leaders to educate themselves before the referendum.

He said:

“It is vital that people vote with their minds and not their hearts; we need to make serious business decisions not emotional decisions. The European Union is an economic integration project; it is for prosperity, not emotions.”

For more information on the EU Referendum, keep following the  BiP Solutions Website.

Budget 2016 Review

Budget 2016 Review

The UK Budget 2016 saw a continuation of the Conservative Government’s commitment to austerity, with a further £3.5bn of efficiencies forecast to be made by 2020. However the Chancellor also outlined measures to boost business growth; here BiP Solutions reporter Julie Shennan examines their implications.

Justifying the Budget cuts, Chancellor George Osborne explained that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had reduced its 2016/17 forecast for UK GDP growth to 2% (down from the 2.4% growth rate predicted in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement).

This reduction in growth forecast was explained as a result of ‘global uncertainty’, to which Mr Osborne said the Government would react with ‘sound public finance’, aiming to get the UK into a budget surplus by 2019/20.

The Chancellor outlined plans to:

  • Reform the business tax system;
  • Devolve power to local communities; and
  • Commit to national infrastructure projects.

Taxes

Mr Osborne’s business tax system reforms include:

  • Supporting a £1bn tax break for the oil and gas industry, including abolishing Petroleum Revenue Tax.
  • Cutting business rates for all small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less, as of April 2017.
  • Cutting Corporation Tax to 17% in 2020.
  • Scrapping Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs) for self-employed people from April 2018, meaning that the self-employed only have to pay Class 4 NICs if their profits are over £8,060 per year.
  • Class 4 NICs will also be reformed so self-employed people can continue to build benefit entitlement.
  • Introducing a tapered rate of relief on properties worth up to £15,000.
  • Reducing Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 20%, and the basic rate from 18% to 10%, as of 6 April 2016.
  • Adding an 8 percentage point surcharge to be paid on residential property and carried interest (the share of profits or gains that is paid to asset managers).
  • Maintaining National Insurance on redundancy payments above £30,000, from April 2018.
  • Changing stamp duty rates for commercial property from 17 March 2016, so that tax bands will be 0% for the portion of the transaction value up to £150,000; 2% between £150,001 and £250,000, and 5% above £250,000.
  • Reduction of stamp duty for buyers of commercial property worth up to £1.05m.
  • Introducing a new 2% stamp duty rate on leases with a net present value over £5m.

Tax Avoidance Crackdown

Mr Osborne also outlined plans to raise £8bn over the next five years by closing the loopholes which allow large companies to legally avoid tax. He plans to do this by:

  • Capping relief on interest payments at 30% of UK earnings (with exceptions for groups with legitimately high interest payments).
  • Legislating against hybrid mismatching tax avoidance.
  • Taxing outbound royalty payments better – increasing multinationals’ UK tax payments.
  • Tackling suppliers storing goods in Britain and selling them online without paying VAT.
  • Ensuring offshore property developers are taxed on their UK profits.

Devolution

Just as Mr Osborne said he was making UK taxes work for UK businesses, he said he would put the power to spend those taxes into the hands of local governments. This means:

  • Devolving local government business rates by the end of the Parliament.
  • Starting the devolution of business rates in London, with the deadline of April 2016.
  • Backing elected mayors in Manchester, Liverpool, Tees Valley, the North East and Sheffield and the West Midlands.
  • Establishing mayors across English counties and southern cities.
  • Transferring new criminal justice system powers to Greater Manchester.
  • Introducing a single powerful East Anglia combined authority, headed up by an elected mayor and almost £1bn of new investment.
  • Agreeing a West of England mayoral authority and pledging almost £1bn to the region.
  • Giving Greater Lincolnshire new powers, new funding and a new mayor.
  • Implementing a new fiscal framework in Scotland.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Edinburgh.
  • Devolving new powers to the Welsh Assembly.
  • Starting a £1bn City Deal for Cardiff.
  • Negotiating a City Deal for Swansea and a Growth Deal for North Wales, so it’s better connected to the Northern Powerhouse.
  • Planning the devolution of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland.
  • Enhancing capital allowances to the enterprise zone in Coleraine.

National Infrastructure

To back this ‘devolution revolution’, the Chancellor laid plans to boost national infrastructure by:

      • Approving development of High Speed 3 between Manchester and Leeds.
      • Commissioning Crossrail 2.
      • Finding new money to create a 4-lane M62.
      • Developing the case for a new tunnelled road from Manchester to Sheffield.
      • Upgrading the A66 and A69.
      • Accepting the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on energy and on London transport.
      • Setting out measures to speed up the planning system, zone housing development and prepare the country for the arrival of 5G technology.
      • Increasing the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax by half a percentage point, and committing the £700m extra revenue raised to flood defence spending.
      • Backing flood defence schemes for York, Leeds, Calder Valley, Carlisle and across Cumbria.
      • Backing community development grants projects from Truro to Hull.
      • Extending the Cathedral Repairs Fund with an extra £20m.

Concluding his Budget 2016, George Osborne said it put ‘the next generation first’. With business rate relief, infrastructure investment and plans to strengthen devolution it is also a budget which supports businesses of all sizes, across all sectors, in the immediate months and years ahead.

DPRTE is pioneering defence procurement: DSC

BiP DPRTE 2014

Pioneering defence procurement discussions will be held at DPRTE 2016 (on 16 March at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena) as UK Defence Solutions Centre (DSC) joins the DPRTE Innovation Hub. Here, DSC Executive Director of Innovation, Paul Winstanley, tells BiP reporter Domhnall Macinnes about the opportunities this will bring.

Opened on 23 March 2015 by Business Minister Matthew Hancock and Defence Minister Philip Dunne and functioning as an independent entity, the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UK DSC) is a new organisation jointly funded by Government and industry. UK DSC’s participation at DPRTE 2016, at the Innovation Hub, is another major incentive for businesses of all sizes to attend this invaluable procurement event.

A brainchild of the Defence Growth Partnership (DGP), UK DSC is an industry first; operating as an innovation centre where the leading minds in the defence industry can collaborate, advancing the UK’s capabilities and strengthening the UK’s position as a world leader in defence solutions. Attendees at the Innovation Hub will have a unique chance to engage with this new body, making themselves known and learning about UK DSC and the exciting opportunities the organisation presents for any budding innovative company looking to advance the UK’s defence technological capabilities.

Paul Winstanley, Executive Director of Innovation at UK DSC, said: “I would absolutely encourage other organisations to attend DPRTE. The more comprehensive the attendance the more benefits there will be for all industry representatives to reap.”

UK DSC works closely with UKTI DSO and the Customer Advisory Group and seeks customers worldwide; the outcome being a continuously expanding knowledge and understanding of industry requirements over the coming 15 years. UK DSC’s relationship with the UK value chain extends to the most prominent and established defence suppliers, as well as to any SME aspiring to push the boundaries of defence industry solutions with their innovations.

Mr Winstanley explained: “The DSC looks at how Government and industry can work together effectively to deliver prosperity, and furthermore how it can develop this relationship to benefit the defence capability of the industrial supply chain.”

With a background in applying innovative solutions across an extensive range of sectors including defence, Mr Winstanley’s passion now is delivering new technology solutions to defence. Being a new entity, UK DSC plans to fully utilise the opportunity presented at DPRTE to meet a wide variety of industry representatives through networking and raising awareness about prosperity and innovation, both of which Mr Winstanley notes are closely linked.

He commented: “We’re looking at the focus of the event being around acquisition, making sure we take into account the requirement of prosperity in acquisition, while looking more broadly at the role of innovation. You’re innovating, integrating and taking on board innovation as part of delivering prosperity.”

A small DSC team will accompany Mr Winstanley to DPRTE, looking to engage with the defence procurement community and learn of companies’ prosperity agendas.

He said: We engage across the board – we are part of the Defence Growth Partnership which has got the 16 major defence companies engaged already. So reinforcement of that engagement would be good.

“Equally, we recognise that there are many other suppliers in the value chain, ranging from academia to SMEs and midsized companies. We tend not to differentiate; we engage broadly across the entire value chain.”

Then, following the event, UK DSC will offer advice regarding how it can help companies to work towards building a more prosperous UK defence industry.

For more information on this and other procurement events, keep following the BiP Solutions blog…

New Year, New EU Thresholds

Blue European Union Flag with Yellow Stars. Basic Flag Illustration.

On 1 January 2016, revised EU public procurement thresholds come into force in the UK. Public sector procurements with an estimated value in excess of these thresholds are legally required to follow the European procurement process, which was transposed into UK law as the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

This, for instance, means that all contract notices for procurement valued above EU thresholds must be published throughout the EU via the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The thresholds are set in Euros, and every two years the European Commission publishes the equivalent values in pound sterling, based on the average daily value of the Euro.

Although the value in Euros has increased, the revised UK 2016 thresholds show a decrease, due to the exchange rates. These threshold values will apply from 1 January2016 to 31 December 2017.

The new thresholds will apply to all contracting authorities, as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, including all central government departments, their Executive

Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Executive Agencies and the wider public sector. It also contains information relevant to utilities as defined by the Utilities Contracts Regulations.
Thresholds

Enquiries about the new thresholds should be directed to the Crown Commercial Service Helpdesk (0345 410 2222).

For more procurement updates, continue to follow the BiP Solutions blog…