Last week Spendmatters exposed the lack of substance behind some of the procurement claims made by Francis Maude. I had previously critiqued Maude's 'revolutionary speech' and have expressed a wish that some sort of test was put in place for robnessness prior to these fanfared announcements which are really only compromising credibility.
Today's font page of theTimes headlines a must read investigation into Whitehall waste - estimated to amount to £31bn! Needles to say procurement does not escape the spotlight, so
it is worth a read.
However, what grabed my attention was an alleged statement by the influencial Tory, Bernard Jenkin, Charmain of the Public Admisnitration Select Committee. Bernie believes that a 'quick win' would be to revise the public procurement rules as "The current pre-qualifications rule out the smaller innovative supplier". Well to me that's yet again good grandstanding and passing the blame, but competely wrong.
There is no 'quick win' in changing EU Rules and the current UK government should know that very well, nevertheless, why did Bernie think that is the case?
What change to the Regulations would Bernie like to see - I personally would be interested to see a draft of the propsed changes he would advocate.
I also would love to know the process for briefing on these statements. To me there is absolutely nothing in the public procurement rules which dictate an onerous approach to PQQ. Nor is there any requirement which rules out smaller suppliers. Nor is there any requirement which rules out innovation. So what is the perceived obstacle? To me this is about professional competence - public procurers need to understand the rules, undersatnd what can be achieved and then get on with doing it as opposed to being part of the blame game.