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Global CEO blog

Welcome to the Global CEO (UK) blog. Its aim is to draw attention to developments and ideas in the world of procurement and supply management and in the work of the profession’s Institute.

We change the blog monthly, and I would welcome your comments personally on ceoblog@cips.org

David Noble FCIPS

Community knowledge

Our membership and wider community are showing some healthy levels of growth – all around the world, which means our base of knowledge and expertise is becoming even more diverse and valuable to us all. Having a wider range of perspectives and a greater pool of professionals from various sectors and at different levels in their careers means that everyone in the community has support, no matter where they work, who they work for, and what their particular challenges are.

In an attempt to harness some of this expertise and underpin all the work CIPS does for the profession and the community, our strategic themes and the development of our strategic direction, we are developing some new groups involving the membership. These groups will be a network and community of interests where like-minded professionals can make themselves heard and help steer the future of the profession.

We are developing a number of Professional Advisory Groups (PAGS) in all the regions where CIPS is present to be focussed on issues in that region. Expect output from MENA, Africa, Australasia, Asia Pac and Europe in the coming years, so pretty much all around the world. The output of these discussion groups will feed directly into the CIPS content strategy which will then inform the development of our knowledge area – papers, tools and templates, for members, content for our magazines, and any conferences and events CIPS holds to truly reflect what is happening in business and the procurement and supply management world.

In particular, though we are all faced with global issues, we need to provide regional and local perspectives too so as professionals we have all we need to hand.

The groups will have several main areas to focus on: 


-              Advice on procurement issues in local business

-              Any local issues that will directly affect procurement in the region, for example regulatory changes

-              Regional and senior level insights that will feed directly into the CIPS content strategy

-              Facilitating new connections with professionals and corporates

-              As ambassadors for CIPS and the profession to be present at local events

Contributors to the groups will be by invitation-only and serve a one-year term so the groups regularly remain fresh and vibrant. Meetings would not be onerous - one or two a year, with possibly some virtual meetings. The Australia and Asia Pac groups have already started and the others will follow later this year.

Inclusiveness, community self-determination, ownership of content and how it is used, enhancement of existing networks, is what I hope will come out of these groups. But, especially of value will be a sense of cohesiveness around the key issues facing business and our profession and how we react and understand these issues, together. As we are bombarded from different directions and the challenges continue to grow, this should be an excellent source of support and insight.

If you feel you can contribute to these groups ahead of the invitations or have any other ideas on we we develop knowledge for the profession, please email your details and brief summary about yourself and your experience and region to: press@cips.org

#2 story

Great news to be collaborating with Cofely, provider of total facilities management to offer CIPS members access to a wide range of sources to support procurement activity in this sector.

Facilities Management is the provision of services needed to support a business or organisation and can include security services, safe and clean working spaces, reception or cleaning services. Keeping up to date and apace with changing needs and legislative requirements can become a drain on resources so specialist support is often needed. FM providers can high levels of expertise, driving cost savings, environmental compliance and operational efficiencies as well as sourcing sustainable energy supplies for example.

Part of the ENGIE, one of the largest global energy players, Cofely will supply regularly updated content to help businesses and individuals as CIPS members and I’m delighted they have become a new knowledge partner.



As the world struggles its way out of recession, with some regions of the world more successfully than others, there is inevitably discussion around how a country’s wealth should be spent. Should a nation’s citizens be given additional opportunity or support, or should funding decisions be based on the scale of need on a global stage?
Overseas aid is often the first cut when a country makes savings to its national debt. Offering support for people on the other side of the world may seem too unreal and distant for many.  Especially if half of the stories around how mismanaged much of this aid is, lost to corruption and greed, is true.
A report in The Times recently found that £6billion a year, half of the UK aid budget is given to agencies such as the World Bank and United Nations to support the Department for International Development (DfID) who reportedly lack the capacity to administer spending correctly. Due to mismanagement and the lack of controls, some of this crucial aid makes millionaires of corrupt officials when it should be destined for the weakest and poorest in our global society. Of course, these stories are never simple or straightforward and the picture of what is actually going wrong is somewhat hazy. But, we know that procurement has a huge role to play in tightening up ways of discovering malpractice and reducing such losses.
And, change is afoot. The World Bank, for the first time ever since its inception is reviewing its procurement policies and procedures in a wide-ranging approach involving many stakeholders including 639 respondents from the private sector, 104 development agencies, 69 individuals from civil societies and including 764 individuals from 37 governments. Having already identified that corruption, bribery and fraud were responsible for the biggest losses and were the biggest challenges in aid procurement, they are involving more staff, greater audits and supervisions to stem the flow of these precious resources.
Their approach is currently two-fold. Defining what constitutes corrupt practices is being looked at as there is no provision to capture all instances of bribery. They are also looking at adding more rigour to the process of eliminating companies from profiting from World Bank funding if there is strong evidence of corruption.
These instances of pouring money down the drain are shameful , when the result is lives lost, opportunities missed and property destroyed when much-needed aid fails to reach those desperate to help. And it goes to show the public good the Institute can do by highlighting these corrupt practices and supporting change and developments in good practice. And as procurement professionals, we can all lead the way in our own ways…
I’m delighted to announce that our first Chartered Status professionals have been announced since our launch earlier this year.
Mandy Chippendale is a Fellow, consultant for MC2 Procurement, and active member of the CIPS community and took this path to enhance her learning and develop her professional expertise and was our very first. We also have Bryan Cook, FCIPS from Australia and Chief of Procurement at the World Bank who came in as a close second.
Both are highly-skilled professionals who continued their approach to lifelong learning by talking the Chartered Professional path.  It’s not an easy option with busy work and personal lives, but I’m gratified that these respected colleagues took this step for others to follow.