Procurement: end charges to see the tenders

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

Why is this idea important?

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

Reduce the employee numbers of the Ministry of Defence

The idea is to redress somewhat the balance between MOD employees and mambers of the armed services. I believe that, if fully manned, the armed forces number about 250,000 peraonnel.There are nearly 90,000 MOD personnel "supporting" them. This means that an infantry company of 100 soldiers in the battlefield has 37 MOD personnel at their desks in Whitehall.

This ratio of 1:2.7 is really too much.

Why is this idea important?

The idea is to redress somewhat the balance between MOD employees and mambers of the armed services. I believe that, if fully manned, the armed forces number about 250,000 peraonnel.There are nearly 90,000 MOD personnel "supporting" them. This means that an infantry company of 100 soldiers in the battlefield has 37 MOD personnel at their desks in Whitehall.

This ratio of 1:2.7 is really too much.

Tenders

The current local authority  PQQ process is long and onerous and rarely suited to service providers , unless building roads. Every tender that is issued requires the completion of another PQQ and a replication of all the supporting documents. This is excessively burdensome for not only the Voluntary sector organisation concerned but also for the local authority which wastes resources examining yet another PQQ from the same organisation.

Suggestion that a successful PQQ  has a one year validity (with the issuing L.A.) which enables the organisation to enter the tender process without the need to continue completing PQQ s. This would free up time and resources for both the charity and local authority.

 

Many local authorities seem to see the Tender process as the only way of procuring new services, or re commissioning existing ones. Local authorities need to be encouraged to use the full range of procurement tools, including: service level agreements, contracts, grants and competitive quotations.

Tenders often ask for qualifications or standards (which are scored) that are out of reach to many smaller VCS due to cost and over bureaucratic systems. These work to the advantage of larger (National) organisations and the  Local Authorities to restrict competition from smaller, locally based organisations. For example IS0 14001 which relates to environmental standards is based primarily on factories and those in manufacturing although it is a tender requirement that scores quite highly. This standard, excluding time spent,  completing the process costs around £2,500 to complete with an annual re-audit of £1000. This is too expensive for small groups to engage with.

Surely an option which would be more cost effective would be for local authorities to either adopt their own standard (developed by the VCS) or use the Charities Evaluation Service  PQASSO system (Practical Quality assurance System for small organisations).

Why is this idea important?

The current local authority  PQQ process is long and onerous and rarely suited to service providers , unless building roads. Every tender that is issued requires the completion of another PQQ and a replication of all the supporting documents. This is excessively burdensome for not only the Voluntary sector organisation concerned but also for the local authority which wastes resources examining yet another PQQ from the same organisation.

Suggestion that a successful PQQ  has a one year validity (with the issuing L.A.) which enables the organisation to enter the tender process without the need to continue completing PQQ s. This would free up time and resources for both the charity and local authority.

 

Many local authorities seem to see the Tender process as the only way of procuring new services, or re commissioning existing ones. Local authorities need to be encouraged to use the full range of procurement tools, including: service level agreements, contracts, grants and competitive quotations.

Tenders often ask for qualifications or standards (which are scored) that are out of reach to many smaller VCS due to cost and over bureaucratic systems. These work to the advantage of larger (National) organisations and the  Local Authorities to restrict competition from smaller, locally based organisations. For example IS0 14001 which relates to environmental standards is based primarily on factories and those in manufacturing although it is a tender requirement that scores quite highly. This standard, excluding time spent,  completing the process costs around £2,500 to complete with an annual re-audit of £1000. This is too expensive for small groups to engage with.

Surely an option which would be more cost effective would be for local authorities to either adopt their own standard (developed by the VCS) or use the Charities Evaluation Service  PQASSO system (Practical Quality assurance System for small organisations).

Simplify public sector procurement and commissioning procedures

Look at how private sector businesses engage suppliers and adopt good practice into public sector procurement and commissioning which is onerous – wasting money and time for both the commissioner and the tenderer.

Why is this idea important?

Look at how private sector businesses engage suppliers and adopt good practice into public sector procurement and commissioning which is onerous – wasting money and time for both the commissioner and the tenderer.

Defence procurement

If you (the defence Dept) want a Boeing Chinook twin rotor helicopter don't rewrire the whole machine. Just buy it. If you want something else then get something else from a UK manufacturer or even the EU or from BAE  systems. If on the other hand you want a surveillance aircraft why did you (the department whatever that is presumably the MOD)  persist with a de Havilland based Comet vehice for fifty years? My suggestion is that the MOD should employ engineers not civil servants with arts degrees or classics qualificans. Our MOD civil servants are so obviously deficient in engineering judgement that they need intellecrtual reinforcement. So let's not buy a replacenent for Polaris or Trident or whatever. Who the hell is going to want to obliterate us WHO has a nuclear weapon? Yes it is Iran, and Pakistan and China and India and Isreael. So we need something. Let's get an airbased nuclear missile system from a fightrer bomber, or even an unpiloted bomber.

 

any or all of these ideas has got to be cheaper thanTrident

Why is this idea important?

If you (the defence Dept) want a Boeing Chinook twin rotor helicopter don't rewrire the whole machine. Just buy it. If you want something else then get something else from a UK manufacturer or even the EU or from BAE  systems. If on the other hand you want a surveillance aircraft why did you (the department whatever that is presumably the MOD)  persist with a de Havilland based Comet vehice for fifty years? My suggestion is that the MOD should employ engineers not civil servants with arts degrees or classics qualificans. Our MOD civil servants are so obviously deficient in engineering judgement that they need intellecrtual reinforcement. So let's not buy a replacenent for Polaris or Trident or whatever. Who the hell is going to want to obliterate us WHO has a nuclear weapon? Yes it is Iran, and Pakistan and China and India and Isreael. So we need something. Let's get an airbased nuclear missile system from a fightrer bomber, or even an unpiloted bomber.

 

any or all of these ideas has got to be cheaper thanTrident

Give 50% of Govt ICT contracts to companies with turnovers under £20m

It has been reported that the Govt is paying £105m for the HMRC website over a period of three years. By any benchmark, HMRC is paying a top price for this. It has also been reported that 85% of Govt IT contracts go to only 6-8 large suppliers. Cut free the Govt ICT marketplace from this overpriced restricted supply chain where the major barrier to entry is not price or capability but a tendering process that puts off a lot of capable smaller companies from going through the bidding process. This can be done easily by reserving 50% of Govt ICT contracts for smaller SME's. This would not be anticompetitive as at least 50% of the UK's ICT industry outside Govt resides in these smaller SME's anyway. I plead to the UK Government, save money, get better ICT systems, stimulate economic growth, break up the current monopoly ICT supply chain.

Why is this idea important?

It has been reported that the Govt is paying £105m for the HMRC website over a period of three years. By any benchmark, HMRC is paying a top price for this. It has also been reported that 85% of Govt IT contracts go to only 6-8 large suppliers. Cut free the Govt ICT marketplace from this overpriced restricted supply chain where the major barrier to entry is not price or capability but a tendering process that puts off a lot of capable smaller companies from going through the bidding process. This can be done easily by reserving 50% of Govt ICT contracts for smaller SME's. This would not be anticompetitive as at least 50% of the UK's ICT industry outside Govt resides in these smaller SME's anyway. I plead to the UK Government, save money, get better ICT systems, stimulate economic growth, break up the current monopoly ICT supply chain.

Procurement of goods and services

Set up a single point within government where businesses can prequalify to bid for public sector contracts – then abolish all prequalification processes by individual public sector bodies 

Why is this idea important?

Set up a single point within government where businesses can prequalify to bid for public sector contracts – then abolish all prequalification processes by individual public sector bodies 

CIS Abolition

Repeal the requirement for small business involved in construction to with hold 20-30% from sub-contractors. This makes me with hold money from anyone that works on my behalf, even if they are VAT registered, this is ridiculous, effectively, you hold the bulk (if not all) of the profit in a job and refund it at the end of the tax year when guess what it is all refunded. BUT the admin involved is prohibitive. The only people who benefit are the Government because they effectively cream 20% off the top of every building job countrywide and the Accountants we have to use to sort the bloody mess out at the years' end when the 20-30% is returned, with no interest. Please, this has to stop, the admin is a nightmare, I had a conversation this evening with an ex-employee who has not been paid for two months at his new job because, he couldn't get his UTR from the revenue. The whole thing is bloody ridiculous

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the requirement for small business involved in construction to with hold 20-30% from sub-contractors. This makes me with hold money from anyone that works on my behalf, even if they are VAT registered, this is ridiculous, effectively, you hold the bulk (if not all) of the profit in a job and refund it at the end of the tax year when guess what it is all refunded. BUT the admin involved is prohibitive. The only people who benefit are the Government because they effectively cream 20% off the top of every building job countrywide and the Accountants we have to use to sort the bloody mess out at the years' end when the 20-30% is returned, with no interest. Please, this has to stop, the admin is a nightmare, I had a conversation this evening with an ex-employee who has not been paid for two months at his new job because, he couldn't get his UTR from the revenue. The whole thing is bloody ridiculous

Shared Information Technology

Why do all Governement Depts need their own IT departments, policies and systems. Why can't many services be shared – one network for communications, one procurement department (do each dept really need to decide what colour of laptop they have), shared data centres etc. etc.

There are probably similar communities/types of dept that could be grouped and procure of delivery their own services on sharded basis = for example why can't all local goverment in a region use the same systems and shared services.

It requires ploiticalk will and proper management – no good if lots of committees take years to get agreement on what they will have – by then the IT worls will have left them behind. Give someone the responsibility to make it happen and tell each dept what they are going to get – i.e. what the tax payer can afford

Why is this idea important?

Why do all Governement Depts need their own IT departments, policies and systems. Why can't many services be shared – one network for communications, one procurement department (do each dept really need to decide what colour of laptop they have), shared data centres etc. etc.

There are probably similar communities/types of dept that could be grouped and procure of delivery their own services on sharded basis = for example why can't all local goverment in a region use the same systems and shared services.

It requires ploiticalk will and proper management – no good if lots of committees take years to get agreement on what they will have – by then the IT worls will have left them behind. Give someone the responsibility to make it happen and tell each dept what they are going to get – i.e. what the tax payer can afford

Create a “Contract Oversight” Department

So often we have seen ludicrous contracts issued by the government, contracts that would never every happen in the private sector.  For example, the GP contracts started by Labour which resulted in GP getting a massive pay rise for less work and they no longer provided out of hours cover.  How the government issued such a contract is beyond belief (and shows a complete lack of commercial awareness).  Similarly, when sir Ian Blair resigned as Chief of the Met he received a massive pay-off – yet he resigned.  He was not sacked, not made redundant, his contract was not broken by his employer – he himself decided to resign yet he still got a massive pay-off.  so often these daft completely uncommercial contracts are given out and it is the taxpayers who pick up the bill.  Cancellation f the ID card contracts results in big penalty clauses being paid to the contractors – way beyond their losses due to contract cancellation (in practice a "set-up" job by Labour to try and avoid a new government cancelling the scheme).

So, create a department with commercial and legal expertise to approve and have veto over contracts issued by the government and quangos.  Maybe initially just covering employment contracts (maybe >£150k) but once up and running to maybe include IT development contracts, all contracts, etc.  How far it could be extended is for others to decide as there would be a law of diminishing returns, but employment contracts is a major important one.  This is not about establishing if the person deserves that level of pay nor about deciding if the price is fir but rather about avoiding such daft loopholes that so many government contracts seem to give to the contractor to the taxpayers expense.

Why is this idea important?

So often we have seen ludicrous contracts issued by the government, contracts that would never every happen in the private sector.  For example, the GP contracts started by Labour which resulted in GP getting a massive pay rise for less work and they no longer provided out of hours cover.  How the government issued such a contract is beyond belief (and shows a complete lack of commercial awareness).  Similarly, when sir Ian Blair resigned as Chief of the Met he received a massive pay-off – yet he resigned.  He was not sacked, not made redundant, his contract was not broken by his employer – he himself decided to resign yet he still got a massive pay-off.  so often these daft completely uncommercial contracts are given out and it is the taxpayers who pick up the bill.  Cancellation f the ID card contracts results in big penalty clauses being paid to the contractors – way beyond their losses due to contract cancellation (in practice a "set-up" job by Labour to try and avoid a new government cancelling the scheme).

So, create a department with commercial and legal expertise to approve and have veto over contracts issued by the government and quangos.  Maybe initially just covering employment contracts (maybe >£150k) but once up and running to maybe include IT development contracts, all contracts, etc.  How far it could be extended is for others to decide as there would be a law of diminishing returns, but employment contracts is a major important one.  This is not about establishing if the person deserves that level of pay nor about deciding if the price is fir but rather about avoiding such daft loopholes that so many government contracts seem to give to the contractor to the taxpayers expense.

Opt out of EU Procurement Regulations for Public Contracts

My idea is that we should opt out all EU procurement directives, in particular the The Public Contracts and Utilities Contracts (Amendment)
Regulations 2007 and the EU Remedies Directive (Council Directive 2007/66/EC).

Instead we should put a general responsibility on Public Bodies to ensure value for money in all their activities and use normal governance best practice to monitor performance.

Why is this idea important?

My idea is that we should opt out all EU procurement directives, in particular the The Public Contracts and Utilities Contracts (Amendment)
Regulations 2007 and the EU Remedies Directive (Council Directive 2007/66/EC).

Instead we should put a general responsibility on Public Bodies to ensure value for money in all their activities and use normal governance best practice to monitor performance.

European Directives which impact on SMEs

 

To create a Small Business European Task Force to ensure legislation which could impact on SMEs is effectively monitored and engaged with from the outset.

Why is this idea important?

 

To create a Small Business European Task Force to ensure legislation which could impact on SMEs is effectively monitored and engaged with from the outset.