Procurement

£13bn construction procurement frameworks launched

21/07/2020

Two public sector frameworks totalling £13bn have been launched aimed at providing direct support to local economies and the green recovery.

Running on empty

17/07/2020

Mark Robinson discusses the widening gap in public sector funding and the implications for the sector’s built environment partners.

PPN 04/20 – What’s changing and how can we plan for the future?

02/07/2020

Lucy Woods explains what contracting authorities should do to prepare for new PPN 04/20 guidance.

Construction spend must deliver social value, argues report

30/06/2020

Construction spend must deliver more ‘tangible social impact’ to support disadvantaged communities post-Covid, according to a new report.

Councils get new advice to combat procurement fraud

09/06/2020

New advice to help councils in England fight procurement fraud has been published by the Government.

Pan-London partnership for PPE launched

19/05/2020

A new pan-London partnership has been established to provide personal protective equipment or care homes and other frontline services.

IfG: Extend outsourcing reforms to councils

04/03/2020

Government reforms of outsourcing to avoid another Carillion collapse must be extended to local government where commercial skills lag behind Whitehall, a report from the Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank has said.

What local government should ask startups

12/02/2020

Investment in digital solutions to service delivery may help to deliver greater public satisfaction with local government at lower cost. Edd Elliot offers a few tips to buyers seeking to understand whether a small business is offering a solution that matches your problem.

Leisure centre contracts in the era of the climate crisis

07/02/2020

Why contracts for the future operation and maintenance of leisure facilities need to change to accommodate issues like the climate emergency.

Maximising tech spend

09/01/2020

David Beggs calls on local government to take a much broader view of technology to get the most value from it.

Lost in translation: sustainability down the construction supply chain

08/01/2020

Luke Deamer, Erica Russell and Jacquetta Lee explore sustainability down the construction supply chain.

Councils being charged 'shocking' markup on IT products

30/09/2019

Councils are paying almost four times the recommended mark-up on technology products, new analysis has revealed.

Going the extra mile

08/08/2019

Paul Doe explains how local authorities can deliver value to citizens beyond connectivity.

Nottingham Council to supply its own water

26/07/2019

Nottingham City Council is set to become the first council to run its own water services in-house, saving an estimated £64,000 a year.

FORS: supply chain compliance to ensure efficiency

22/07/2019

Rajinder Sharma explains how the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme helps local authorities to drive up best practice and strengthen its supply chain.

Setting the standard

18/07/2019

Terry Coyle explains why it makes sense to work with a company that has its management system and auditor competency processes approved by UKAS.

Council backs campaign for procurement reform

11/07/2019

Oxford City Council has become the first authority to back a fair tax campaign.

Kier to cut 1,200 jobs and ditch housing division

17/06/2019

Kier Group is to cut around 1,200 jobs and make savings of £55m over the next two years, amid a planned sell-off of many of its commercial interests.

Amazon awarded £460m in public sector contracts since 2015

14/06/2019

A contract awarded to Amazon by a local government purchasing organisation is the biggest in the UK public sector, according to new research.

Councils urged to record data on procurement of single-use plastic bottles

07/06/2019

A third of councils are failing to record how many single-use plastic bottles they have procured over the last five years, according to new research.

Councils exposed following Kier profit warning

06/06/2019

Local authorities are heavily exposed to struggling construction giant Kier which faced a huge fall in its share price this week, according to the latest figures.

Reframing the apprenticeship levy deadline for spending

05/06/2019

Lizzy Grayson discusses how the apprenticeship levy has changed post-deadline for spending .

Unchaining social value

31/05/2019

A new report reveals some councils are building social value into their procurement – but that senior council decision makers must take more interest in securing broader benefits when commissioning services.

Top panel formed to study local impact of Social Value Act

23/05/2019

Localis has launched a research project asking if the Government is providing social, economic and environmental benefits through public procurement.

Coming to terms with late payments

02/05/2019

Neil Washington explains how the public sector can strengthen SMEs by ensuring their contractors operate fair payment terms.

A £3m fund launched to improve infrastructure procurement

18/04/2019

A £3m fund has been made available for pilot projects that explore new approaches to procurement in housing and council-led infrastructure construction.

UniCORN Framework

26/02/2019

Why BT UniCORN Framework – Join the partnership to cut costs and create opportunities.

Double the number of providers handing back care contracts to councils

12/02/2019

The number of social care providers handing back contracts to councils has more than doubled in 2018, new research has revealed.

Local government outsourcing fell by more than £80m in 2018

06/02/2019

The total value of outsourcing contracts agreed by councils in 2018 fell by more than £80m in 2018, according to the Arvato UK Outsourcing Index.

London ICT Framework

04/02/2019

There are hundreds of frameworks to choose from, helping your organisation to procure anything from office supplies to cloud services. But if you’re based in the capital, you might want to consider the BT London ICT Framework.

Union warns outsourcing 'rockets' after Carillion collapse

15/01/2019

Councils are still awarding outsourcing contracts to companies that have recently issued profit warnings, new research has revealed.

Local government buying: the smart way forward

14/01/2019

Mark Whitehead looks at how 'best value' is overtaking 'best price' when it comes to local government procurement.

The top ten things for local government to be aware of in 2019

11/01/2019

2019 looks set to be a year of interesting challenges and opportunities for local government. Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Exclusive: Councils increase number of deals with SMEs and social enterprises

08/01/2019

Councils are increasingly forging deals with smaller companies rather than big outsourcing contractors, according to the latest figures.

Social value revolution

19/12/2018

Andy Preston explores how local government procurement has changed this year and how councils can meet updated procurement policy.

Allied Healthcare to sell off all council contracts within three weeks

23/11/2018

Local authorities have three weeks to find alternative providers for thousands of elderly and vulnerable people after a major care services company pulled out of the market.

Care provider winds up its local authority contracts

22/11/2018

A major care services provider is winding up all its contracts with local authorities after regulators warned it was about to go bust.

Technology deal to transform care services, say analysts

08/11/2018

A huge procurement deal to promote the latest technology is being hailed as a way to transform the delivery of social services and bring their spiralling costs under control.

Fair payment champions

26/10/2018

Victoria Brambini explains how local authorities can empower their supply chains through fair payment.

Virgin Care awarded contract to deliver Lancashire health services

18/10/2018

Virgin Care has been identified as the preferred bidder for the delivery of 0-19 public health services in Lancashire after a legal challenge forced a reevaluation of the bid.

Procurement problems

16/10/2018

The latest Highways/FiTZ INDEX survey has revealed deep concerns within the highways sector about the nature of procurement. Dominic Browne reports on the findings.

Councils have 'dangerous dependence' on a handful of suppliers

21/09/2018

Councils are concentrating more than half their total spend with their top five suppliers, new research has revealed.

Council agrees to re-evaluate health service procurement process

15/08/2018

Lancashire County Council has agreed to re-evaluate its tendering process for public health services after a court ordered the council to set aside its agreement with Virgin Care.

Councils urged to protect SMEs in their supply chains

26/07/2018

Local authorities have been urged to protect supply chain retention monies belonging to small and medium enterprises in their supply chains.

DPS – A flexible way to procure

10/07/2018

Paul Smith urges councils to consider Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPSs) as a pioneering approach to procurement and outlines the five top reasons for considering the use of a DPS.

Innovation: time to match words with action

10/07/2018

Stephen Smith calls on local authorities to challenge businesses to innovate, rather than buying products based purely on cost and availability.

Managing utilities in-house

29/06/2018

Tiffany Cloynes looks at some of the key areas for local authorities to consider before becoming involved in the provision of utility services.

Councils save over £800m by sharing services

28/06/2018

Councils have saved £840m through shared service arrangements, new research has revealed today.

Government pledges to 'rebuild trust' in outsourcing after Carillion

26/06/2018

The Government has announced a package of measures aimed at rebuilding trust after the collapse of outsourcing construction company Carillion earlier this year.

Blackpool first council to be awarded self-supply water licence

20/06/2018

Blackpool Council has been granted a self-supply licence to manage and monitor its own water usage across its 120 sites.

Councils double number of fire safety tenders in wake of Grenfell

19/06/2018

The number of councils tendering for fire safety work has shot up in the year since the Grenfell disaster, according to the latest figures.

Councils must do more to protect workers’ rights globally, union says

18/06/2018

A public sector union has criticised local authorities for ‘not doing enough’ to protect workers’ rights globally.

Homes England to launch £150m procurement framework

21/05/2018

Homes England will launch the procurement of a new framework this month which will provide councils with access to a broader range of services to help the delivery of new homes.

Councils should give ALEOs ‘careful consideration’ before use, watchdog warns

17/05/2018

The local authority spending watchdog in Scotland has acknowledged the benefits of arms-length external organisations (ALEOs) but warned they require ‘careful consideration’ before adoption.

Leading the charge

25/04/2018

Paul Heath explains how Scotland could encourage collaborative IT purchasing in local government.

Cheshire councillor investigating misconduct suspended

13/04/2018

The Cheshire East Council councillor investigating two senior officers over concerns about the way contracts were awarded has been asked to ‘step down’.

The end of public-private partnerships?

11/04/2018

Rather than abandoning all public-private partnerships in the wake of Carillion's collapse, Richard Tinham urges councils to explore other partnership models.

Council criticised for procurement ‘maladministration’

11/04/2018

A council in Northern Ireland has been criticised for ‘maladministration’ in its procurement of stewarding services.

Brexit and public procurement - a lost opportunity

09/04/2018

Andrew Millross explains how just small changes to the EU's current procurement directives could make a huge difference to the way local authorities assess contractors before signing public contracts with them.

Purchasing professional services

27/03/2018

Rob Levene explains how local authorities are reaping the benefits of an alternative approach to buying professional services.

Councillors pledge to eradicate modern slavery from their supply chains

23/03/2018

Labour and Co-operative councillors have pledged to ensure none of the money they spend on procuring goods and services inadvertently ends up supporting exploitation or trafficking.

Managing local authority contracts

23/03/2018

Tiffany Cloynes outlines the key issues councils should address to get the most out of their outsourced contracts.

List reveals top 15 suppliers to local government in 2017

12/03/2018

A new ranking of local government suppliers has revealed over half of the top 15 regular suppliers were construction firms.

Manchester CC ‘dramatically’ increases spend in local economy

07/03/2018

Manchester City Council has increased the amount it spends in the city’s economy by around 20% in the last 10 years, new figures reveal.

The PFI model

01/02/2018

The Carillion debacle: more procurement expertise required

Procurement considerations following on from Carillion's liquidation

30/01/2018

Why are many local authorities being left with ineffective checks on the financial position of contractors? Richard Brooks explains.

Blackpool set to become first council to manage its own water supply

30/01/2018

Blackpool Council has applied to Ofwat for a water and sewerage licence, making it the first local authority to move towards managing its own water supply.

The key to sustainable contracting

30/01/2018

Angelica Hymers outlines her top tips on how public bodies can avoid granting contracts to potentially unstable contractors.

SEND/HNL provision in FE colleges: are we paying too much?

29/01/2018

Ray Hart asks whether local authorities are paying too much for SEND and HNL provision in Further Education, and shares his advice on how to tackle overcharging.

Carillion collapse: What next for public services?

16/01/2018

Jos Creese argues it may be time to reassess the boundaries and expectations for public/private partnerships in the wake of the demise of Carillion.

Some councils paying ‘excessive’ costs for paper, research reveals

03/01/2018

Some councils are paying up to seven times more for paper than other authorities, an investigation by the MP for South Thanet has revealed.

Councils could face up to £1bn in late payment penalties, report warns

07/12/2017

Councils could face up to £1bn in late payment penalties, according to new report into local government payment practices.

Councils should not take on 'large procurement projects'

06/11/2017

Former convenor of Edinburgh council’s transport committee has said councils should not take on large public procurement projects like the city’s tram network.

Procurement framework launches with £1bn pipeline of public sector projects

31/10/2017

The Scape National Construction framework has nearly £1bn of public sector projects in the pipeline since its launch six months ago.

Public procurement in Wales needs ‘improvement’, auditors say

17/10/2017

There is ‘clear scope for improvement’ in procurement arrangements at the local level in Wales, auditors find.

Procurement is key to creating local wealth argues report

12/10/2017

Public procurement focused on local spending is key to creating wealth in communities after Brexit, according to a new report.

'Unscrupulous suppliers' overcharging councils on IT products

10/10/2017

Councils are being charged an excessive markup on IT products as suppliers use the confusion caused by Brexit to increase their prices, a new study has revealed.

Councils warned not to contract out safety of new buildings

03/10/2017

Local authorities have been warned they must not ‘contract out’ the safety of new public buildings in a new report from MSPs.

County increases local spend by £22m in past year

19/09/2017

Nottinghamshire County Council spent an extra £22m with local businesses last year, in a bid to boost the local economy and protect local jobs.

Procurement system 'stacked' against small firms, report warns

23/08/2017

A ‘stacked’ procurement system is preventing smaller firms from securing contracts with local authorities, pressure group says.

New estate framework set to save public sector £35m

23/08/2017

Councils are set to save millions on estate management due to the launch of a new procurement framework.

Figures show decline in prompt payment by public sector

22/08/2017

The number of public sector bodies failing to pay engineering services firms within 30 days has increased in the second quarter of this year, new research has shown.

Council chiefs call for ‘light touch’ procurement rules post-Brexit

17/08/2017

Council chiefs have called on the Government to ‘simplify’ the current rules on how councils buy goods and services once the UK has exited the European Union.

Council ends contract with 'litter police' company

03/08/2017

A council has ended its environmental services contract with Kingdom Security, the company which was found to have offered bonuses to its officers for issuing fines.

Public procurement reform could boost local economies by £14bn, says report

06/07/2017

Up to £14bn could be invested in local economies if the Government reformed public procurement rules, new research has argued today.

Late council payments to SMEs worth millions ‘major issue’, report warns

30/06/2017

A new study has revealed that over 40% of top tier local government sourcing comes from SMEs, but late payment by councils is ‘frequently a major issue’.

Councils to save more than £6m a year through new auditing contracts

21/06/2017

Councils are set to save millions after the launch of a new national body which has secured lower-cost contracts for auditing services.

Liverpool chief executive to 'step aside' after arrest

24/05/2017

Liverpool CC chief executive Ged Fitzgerald will 'voluntarily step aside' after he was arrested as part of investigation into alleged financial irregularities.

Liverpool council chief arrested over alleged financial irregularities probe

23/05/2017

Four men including Liverpool City Council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the tendering of council contracts to BT.

Councils making ‘glacial’ progress in improving payment times

24/04/2017

The amount of time it takes councils to pay suppliers has only fallen by one day since 2009, according to new research.

Scottish councils only spending a fifth of procurement budget on local SMEs

21/04/2017

Campaigners have called on Scottish councils to spend more on local businesses as study reveals less than a fifth of their procurement budget goes on SMEs.

Are councils paying promptly?

10/04/2017

Paul Reeve explains why a recent FOI request reveals councils are still not acting on supply chain payment.

Tackling modern slavery with supply chain transparency

22/03/2017

A new public database is committed to ending modern slavery by making supply chains more transparent. William Eichler finds out more.

New highways ironwork standard takes effect

20/03/2017

Barry Turner warns that many councils are still unaware of the new change in the standard for manhole covers and gully grates.

Majority of councils join national auditing scheme

14/03/2017

Nearly all (98%) of local authorities have decided to join the new national scheme, which will negotiate auditors’ contracts on their behalf.

Manchester Council playing ‘pioneering role’ in progressive procurement

28/02/2017

Manchester City Council is playing a ‘pioneering role’ in reinvesting spend back into the local economy with its progressive procurement policies, report says.

Dorset implements cloud-based platform for environmental health services

20/02/2017

Dorset councils have carried out a shared procurement exercise for an environmental health system that they argue will improve customer service.

Councils banned from 'unnecessary' boycotts

13/02/2017

Councils will no longer be able to boycott countries or companies unless restrictions have already been put in place by the Government under new rules published today.

Value of council contracts falls in wake of Brexit

30/01/2017

The value of contract awards in local government fell following the Brexit vote – despite an overall increase of 5% across the public sector as a whole, new figures have revealed.

Over 200 authorities join national auditing scheme

17/01/2017

More than 200 authorities have opted to join a national scheme, which will negotiate auditors’ contracts on their behalf.

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