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.
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David Noble FCIPS
Looking to the East - April 2015
My recent return from an event in Poland organised by the British Polish Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) and our partners at Profitia has only confirmed to me what I have known for some time about the interest shown in developing and extending procurement professionalisation across Eastern Europe.
We already have an agent in Ukraine working in the public sector and tackling similar issues in a very challenging environment. After talking to government agencies and businesses attending the BPCC event, it shows there is further momentum for change and improvement across the region.
The event in Warsaw attracted around 110 attendees and around half were from the public sector. Presentations at the British Embassy in the city included those from the Ambassador, Robin Barnett and BPCC’s Chief Advisor on Policy, Michael Dembinski who offered a UK example of best practice from the Crown Commercial Service responsible for £40bn of taxpayers’ money. The CCS uses a single source agency and transparent approach, and with a target of 25% directed at SMEs, offered an alternative approach to public sector procurement which is quite different in Poland.
Poland’s economy is the sixth largest in the EU and in 2010 the economic growth rate was around 3.9%, which was certainly better than the rest of Europe struggling in recession. This year the rate is expected to be around 3.5% so the opportunities to capitalise on rising economic prosperity are there for the taking. At the event, colleagues from Profitia outlined some practical and positive case studies around best practice in the country and how group purchasing had saved around 30m złotys each year. So, the understanding around cost savings is already in evidence, but Polish procurement currently only concentrates on two areas – public procurement law and negotiating techniques, which is a limited approach to say the least and one which CIPS’ involvement can support to improve. The implementation of the EU’s Public Procurement Directive is also likely to have a significant effect on change, which was discussed at the event.
The discussions centred around not just creating value in the supply chain, but also around damage to reputation if things go wrong, so there was also some recognition of the inherent risks if improvement did not come quickly enough. Overall, the level of discussion was in-depth, the number of attendees was surprising and the seniority of those who came was impressive, and included the director of the public tenders department at the highways agency GDDKiA, the director of the Gdańsk University Clinic, and the procurement director at PKN Orlen; a great mix of public and private sector. In summary, I was really struck by the enthusiasm for good procurement in the country, so am looking forward to the success of more events later in the year in Kraków, Wrocław and Poznań.
Completing the ethics test
The Modern Slavery Bill received its Royal Assent last month and became law as the Modern Slavery Act 2015. One of the first in the world; and the first in Europe, this development means that there is more protection for victims and gives police forces and law courts the ammunition they need to help eradicate this immoral trade.
This came at a time when I was completing the CIPS ethic test as part of my own personal development and to support the Institute in retaining its own CIPS corporate ethical mark. All CIPS staff around the world are involved and I take personal pride in achieving such an important award. CIPS has to lead the way and offer practical steps if we are to encourage other organisations and corporates to achieve this mark and stand out as an example of good ethical practice. The test itself includes a module on slavery as it continues to be a scourge on the modern world.
Have you completed yours?