Procurement opens up opportunities for construction companies

Leading e-procurement services provider Millstream has reported a rise in the number of low value construction tenders over the past 12 months, which it believes is opening up opportunities for UK companies to secure work from the public sector.

Millstream operates the myTenders and Tenders Direct websites, which allow public sector organisations to publish tenders and private sector companies to bid for new business, as well as national procurement portals for Scotland, Ireland and Norway.

Around 70% of the 14,000 construction tenders published by Millstream over the past year have been below the EU threshold of £4.3million, which means they do not need to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

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West Coast Rail Franchise – the latest procurement fiasco

At midnight last night the Department of Transport released the following announcement:

Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said “I have had to cancel the competition for the running of the West Coast franchise because of deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mistakes made by my department in the way it managed the process.”

Bombardier Zefiro High Speed Train

Any of us who tender for public contracts are only too fully aware of the sometimes less than perfect award criteria and a decision making process that owes more to being able to write a creative tender, stuffed with ISO standards, Prince2, ITIL and other accreditations, rather than a process that identifys the most suitable supplier, but how can things go so wrong with such a high profile decision?

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Improving NHS Procurement

Operating theatre

Earlier this summer the Department of Health published two documents aimed at improving procurement within the NHS. The first titled NHS Procurement:Raising Our Game is guidance setting out the immediate steps that the NHS needs to take in order to save £1.2 Billion of the current £18 Billion annual procurement spend under the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme. The second document NHS Procurement Standards sets out the standards against which Trusts should be measuring themselves in order to ensure that they improve procurement performance and ensure Value for Money (VfM).Operating theatre

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Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals

Millstream, a leading provider of European procurement services, is to continue running Scotland and Ireland’s national e-procurement databases after winning two contract extensions.

The additional work from the Scottish Government and Irish Government’s National Procurement Service comes just weeks after the Aberdeen-based company won a £4.8million deal to run a similar portal in Norway for the next seven years.

Millstream is the only company providing national public procurement websites for several European member states and has recently taken on 12 new staff to drive growth within the business. Continue reading “Millstream secures contract extensions for Scottish and Irish procurement portals”

Millstream brings business value to the public sector

Value is a strong ingredient in any good business proposition, but when your business is connecting suppliers with public-sector buyers, practising what you preach is all the more important.

Millstream Associates is a business connecting 7,500 public purchasing authorities to more than 200,000 suppliers through an online system which sends tenders to relevant businesses depending on their products and services and their ability to deliver. Continue reading “Millstream brings business value to the public sector”

Millstream wins £5 million contract to provide national procurement website for Norway

Alex Salmond

Millstream, the company behind the Tenders Direct service, has secured a £4.8million deal to run Norway’s national procurement database, cementing the company’s expertise in connecting suppliers with public sector buyers.

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has praised the contract win, citing it as an excellent example of Scottish companies developing strong ties with Norway, a key export partner.

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MoD civil servants plead guilty in CCTV contract corruption case

CCTV cameras

An investigation into the corruption of civil servants has concluded at  Belfast Crown Court after all four defendants admitted their involvement. The case centred around payments to show favour for the tendering and continuation of CCTV CamerasCCTV contracts in Northern Ireland.

Their guilty pleas mark the conclusion of a joint investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Ministry of Defence Police, into bribery allegations, which began in 2002.

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Inappropriate use of Negotiated and Competitive Dialogue Procedures

Some public authorities use the negotiated or competitive dialogue procedures for awarding contracts, when in fact the regulations are actually quite strict on which procedure they should choose and authorities should be using the Open or Restricted procedure in most circumstances.

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Procurement Fraud in English Councils

Cover of audit commission report

The Audit Commission has today published the results of its annual survey of fraud against English councils and related bodies (Protecting the Public Purse 2011). The 2010/11 report shows that:Front cover of Audit Commission Report

  • fraud directed against public sector organisations costs taxpayers £21.2 billion/year
  • fraud against councils costs more than £2 billion/year
  • councils detected more than £185 million worth of fraud (<10% of the total), involving 121,000 cases
  • the total value detected increased by 37 per cent compared against 2009/10, with the number of cases detected also rising

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New research: UK deficit can be slashed without cuts to public services

A third of the UK’s structural deficit (£38bn) could be eliminated by reforming how the public sector buys its goods and

Henley Business School

Henley Business School

services, according to a major new report by Henley Business School at the University of Reading and specialist consulting group Future Purchasing. A complimentary copy of the report is downloadable from www.deficit-reduction.com. Continue reading “New research: UK deficit can be slashed without cuts to public services”

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