Phantom Rules get Ghostbusted
Francis Maude’s comments this week about improving supplier relationships will have come as a delighted to outsourcers, particularly smaller providers, who will now be able to afford to bid for some much needed government work.
Phantom EU rules, misinterpreted by reading too much into them, have long been a bugbear of many people close to the government procurement process. Particularly the perception that its illegal / wrong / sinful to have informal conversations with potential suppliers before the full-on tender process begins.
Well, it’s not. The French do it. The Germans do it. It’s the best way. Competitive dialogue has its place, but it shouldn’t be the start of the deal. Sophisticated conversations pre-tender are a prominent feature of the discussions at the All Party Group on Outsourcing and Shared Services. It’s wonderful that the government seems to be listening, and is now keen to improve its skills in the procurement arena.
It’s interesting that the government is choosing Intellect as their partner in improving its commercial and technical skills. We at the NOA are concerned that, as an IT-specialist, supplier-only community, Intellect lacks the balanced opinions that having end-users and intermediaries involved brings. The government is likely to seek bigger savings in the business process arena than IT, so are Intellect the right people to offer the best advice? The National Outsourcing Association is on hand to plug any knowledge gaps, helping grow the government’s wisdom when it comes to managing outsourcing suppliers. Francis Maude’s outsourcing epiphany is most welcome, and we’ll support it all the way.