There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to public sector procurement. The function varies widely across the world, and where it is least developed, corruption can easily take hold. Witness the latest global survey from Transparency International which reports one person in four admitting to bribing a public official, peaking at 84 per cent of respondents for the worst offender, Sierra Leone.
These extremes aside, public procurement, even in developed and stable economies, can still have a lot to learn about best practice. The Partnership for Public Procurement, co-founded by CIPS and the US body the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), has just launched a dedicated web portal to give public sector organisations and agencies around the world access to best practice procurement and professionalism. Drawing on our combined 150 years of experience working with, training and providing professional services to the sector, we designed it to support procurement at every level, in every type of public sector body.
Everything on the portal is underpinned by the CIPS/NIGP values and guiding principles (VGPs) which we believe will become the basis for a common international standard in public procurement.
More than 80 agencies have signed up to the VGPs already.
These principles are at the heart of a new service on the portal, the Public Procurement Profiler. This is an online questionnaire to help procurement teams identify if they have all the essentials in place to run an effective operation and, if there are gaps, to give them a checklist for an improvement plan to get where they need to be. The ‘essentials’ profiler is free of charge and quick to use, but for those who want more depth, there’s a detailed self-assessment questionnaire to identify whether the best procurement model is being used for that organisation and whether stakeholders can be confident that best value is being achieved. It also allows users to compare their own procurement model with those of similar agencies, both in the same country and elsewhere in the world. Also on the site are guidance documents on procurement practice, reports and white papers. Over time this will become a major resource.
It might seem a lofty ambition, but the Partnership’s shared vision, to promote the adoption of our values and principles by governments globally, and establish consistency in practice, will, if we leverage our combined strengths successfully, result in effective public sector procurement and greater benefits for all. Visit www.globalpublic
CIPS helps oil industry efficiency
I don’t know whether any
of you caught the recent documentary commemorating 25 years since the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster, but it was a salutary reminder of the dangers inherent in extracting the oil we need to meet our increasing energy demands.
Since then, investment in
the industry has increased massively, creating more
than 400,000 jobs. It now supplies 73 per cent of
UK total energy.
While this is all good news, competition between operator companies to get the best return on their investment brings big challenges for the procurement professionals
The trade association Oil & Gas UK in Aberdeen has made it its mission to ensure a long-term future for the industry by promoting collaboration throughout the supply chain. CIPS is providing support with what we do best, helping to develop and retain talent in the industry and drive performance efficiency.
My presentation at Oil & Gas UK’s recent forum, and meeting Scotland’s deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to discuss how we get young people qualified to meet this demand, means CIPS is at the forefront of this activity.