Friday, 22 March 2013

Brazil's procurer of last resort & the UK's missed opportunity

I had an absolutely fantastic time with friends at the University of Ro de Janeiro during 2011. I couldn't help but be impressed with how the university was working hand-in-hand with industry and the public sector in providing procurement support. I remain convinced the UK could learn a lot from those partnerships and that learning from their experience would help the UK industrial strategy. You can read about my visit here and here.

However, I find the recent news that public procurement processes in Brazil are so unwieldy and cumbersome that a deal has been made with the UN to handle some of their procurement in the run up to the World Cup. Let's not forget that the World Cup is only one of international events Brazil will host over the next few years, including the Olympics. Some brief observations:
  1. If your procurement process aren't fit for purpose, change the procurement processes;
  2. Given that the UK have been forging stronger relationships with Brazil, with plenty of ministerial missions, and the general acknowledgement that the procurement for the London Olympics was well managed, why on earth did the UK not identify this potential opportunity - can we not turn procurement expertise into an internationally tradable service? 
  3. Given the need for stronger political alliances with Latin American countries, could we not use procurement expertise as a diplomatic resource?
I cannot understand how Brazil have got themselves into this situation, but at least they had the good sense to get support. But equally I just cannot understand how the UK missed such a strategic opportunity.  

Wish I was there.

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