Monday, 23 January 2017

UK Industrial Strategy and more procurement bluster

Today the UK Government released for consultation its new Industrial Strategy.  As has become the norm with this type of business document procurement gets its place in the sun; this time with seven pages.

You can find a summary of the commitments on page 77 of the document but don't be getting too excited; there are only two new commitments, namely, the rollout of a balanced scorecard approach, and the trailing of different aspects of supplier feedback. There are proposals on page 72 on what the Government hopes to do to make use of procurement as a tool for innovation, and to be truthful I quite like the suggestion of 'innovation review points'. But I don't actually see anything which jumps off the laptop at me and shouts "WOW!'. Actually, perhaps it does merit a "wow" but only because of frustration and despondency.

There is almost a necessity for Government's to make a fashion statement creating the illusion they plan to really use procurement. Sadly, then there is a complete lack of accountability and performance management to make sure it is implemented. It takes on the feel of smoke and mirrors and political rhetoric, then, all too often is forgotten.

Perhaps, now is the time for CIPS to grab the bull by the horns and, rather than a submit a politically correct and polite consultation response to shout loudly, "Just Do It".  Even better if CIPS could be part of some sort of performance management structure for the procurement chapter's implementation!

The Government pose the consultation question: 'is there more can be sone through public procurement to support innovation?'  For what it's worth I made recommendations on how procurement could contributed to a manufacturing strategy four years ago, back in February 2013. Perhaps some of those recommendations were too adventurous but of my 18 recommendations, I think one stands out:
Revisit Procuring for the FutureInnovation Nation and the Department of Health's National Innovation Procurement Plan implementation, establish what impeded uptake, what worked and address the lessons learnt - my own impression is that they lacked a supporting change management strategy and the associated resources.

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