Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Indian helicopter vision on the need for procurement procedural ownership

Some months ago I discussed some of the lessons from the plagued Indian helicopter procurement - it has now emerged that procurement procedures were not adhered to. To me it is one of the fundamentals of good procurement, even though it doesn't seem very strategic, that you have pragmatic procedures which demonstrate probity, gained stakeholder ownership during their development, are effectively communicated, and then performance managed. If you cannot get those basics right then it doesn't mater how strategic your aspirations are for strategic recognition, the foundations just are not right.

So why is procedural compliance such a problem? The Indian Helicopter procurement, Stoke City Council, Serious Fraud OfficeLancashire County Council, and the Housing Executive in Northern Ireland are just a few of the recent discussions where procurement procedural compliance appear to have been flawed. It is almost irrelevant whether fraud and corruption took place if you have not adhered to procedures - non-adherence to procedures will always leave you perceived as doing wrong.

My suggestion is that the core lessons here are check the procedures are fit for purpose, make sure they are understood, and then performance manage. If you don't you may be the next case study.

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