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Recent Posts

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by Jake Wilson

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by Joe Cool

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Recent Forum Topics

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Open Procurement

EU procurement legislation is grounded in the EU Treaty and is designed to ensure open markets are maintained and that the Single Market can operate competitively and openly. The rules are designed to secure non-discrimination in government purchasing in a way that compliments the EU competition rules. The EU’s Procurement laws also ensure open competitive tendering by governmental bodies. It is obviously critical that these principles are observed so that when “government as customer” impacts the market, it does so in a way that operates in a manner that is technologically neutral and supports competitive supply and economic efficiency throughout the supply chain. 

For a list of all Open Procurement articles, click here.

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Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Response to 2010 Budget

In this short paper the OGC sets out its response to the 2010 Budget and its plan build on Access for All. This includes an increase in the proportion of central government procurement spend going to SMEs by 15%; the development of a single portal; building on the success of prompt payment; the implementation of the OGC;s 10 procurement for growth principles and the development of a Supplier Charter.

Click here to read the paper.


Office of Government Commerce (OGC) 10 Procurement for Growth Principles

Transformation of public procurement will be key to securing economic growth and recovery in a tighter fiscal environment. To that end, OGC has published a set of 10 Procurement for Growth principles for Departments to use in their non-collaborative procurement activities.

Click here to read the principles.


Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Implementing e-Tendering Guide

OGC has published a guide entitled Implementing e-Tendering. This document sets out some of the benefits which can be achieved for both contracting authorities and suppliers from the effective use of electronic tendering (e-tendering) in public procurement. It also offers guidance on implementing e-tendering solutions.

Click here to read the guide.


OCA Summary of UK Government ICT Strategy

The UK Government has published a new ICT strategy for the public sector aimed at simplifying and standardising ICT across the public sector to enable interoperability and data sharing while providing flexibility and efficient services that will deliver savings of over £3.2 billion per year.

The aims of the ICT strategy are to be met through fourteen delivery strands straddling three thematic areas: common infrastructure, common standards and common capabilities, namely:

1.         Public Sector Network strategy to deliver converged voice and data communications across the public sector

2.         Government-Cloud (G-Cloud) through the establishment of a private cloud in the first instance

3.         Data Centre Rationalisation to reduce the number of data centres from hundreds to 10-12

4.         Government application store (G-AS) to enable re-use rather than re-design of existing services

5.         Shared services concept to enable enterprise resource planning delivered through G-Cloud

6.         Desktop services – adoption of common models and designs

7.         Architecture and standards which are secure, interoperable and common

8.         Open Source, open standards and re-use – to increase flexibility and facilitate switching of suppliers

9.         Greening government ICT to achieve carbon-neutral ICT by 2012

10.     Information security and assurance to match risk appetite to risk exposure

11.     Professionalising IT enabled change – increasing in-house skills to lower spend on consultants and contractors

12.     Reliable project delivery – through greater programme accountability and intervention by CIO and OGC

13.     Supply management – improved government-supplier relationships through collaborative procurement

14.     International alignment with EU agreements, etc.

Implementation of the strategy will be overseen by the CIO Council, which brings together CIOs from across all parts of the public sector and is chaired by John Suffolk, the Government CIO.

Click here to read a summary of the strategy.

UK Government ICT Strategy Homepage


CJEU Ruling - UK Procurement Rules on Challenging Decisions are Illegal

C-406/08 - Uniplex (UK) Ltd v NHS Business Services Authority

The UK procurement rules requiring challenges to be brought “promptly and in any event within three months from the date when grounds for bringing proceedings first arose unless the Court considers that there is good reason for extending period within which proceedings may be brought” are incompatible with the EU Directive 89/665. In response to the questions referred to it by the High Court, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), held that the time cannot start running from the date of breach of the applicable public procurement provisions, but rather should start from the date on which the tenderer knew, or ought to have known, of that infringement.  In addition, the term "promptly" is too vague and based on the discretion of the judge. Despite the fact that this ruling was looking at provisions under the old regime, it is still applicable to the Remedies Directive which came into effect on 20 December 2009.

The full text of the judgment and Opinion of the Advocate-General can be found here.