My blog earlier this week drew an interesting response from Ken Adams and his co-author in a recent article offering 'Top Ten Tips in Drafting & Negotiating International Contracts'. The ensuing debate seems to me to encapsulate the dilemma facing the legal community today. Essentially, are they narrow (but important) specialists in law, or should they be applying their knowledge of law within a much broader remit of 'business advisor'?
We are looking for experiences and recommendations for using social media for procurement in the public sector. Please post a response in this forum or send to email@example.com. All comments and suggestions are welcomed. Thanks.
As a government body engaging in international (Gov-to-Gov) trade, what is the position on the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Freedom of Information Act 2000? Do the Act and Regs have effect on Clients and Bodies outside the UK?
Thanks for your help!
IACCM REPORT FINDING: Private sector personnel are almost 80% more likely to be influenced by the need to promote competition and minimize operating costs -Please share your thoughts. Hoping this generates some activity.
When I read IACCM article, I was perplexed by the statement above and therefore I offer the following thoughts:
In the U.S. public sector procurement is the intersection between three interconnected non-complimentary forces; law, public policy, and industry. Public policy combined with Federal law dictates that competition is the single most important aspect of the U.S. Federal procurement process. In accordance with the law contracting professionals in the U.S. Government are required to consider/ research 7 different socioeconomic categories before they can compete an opportunity in a full and open environment. At each layer acquisition professionals make a business decision about the capability of industry to perform the work at hand for a reasonable price. Contracting professionals are required to do this for simple procurements and large strategically sourced contract vehicles.
In fact, at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the initial market research described above has helped create an industry base of 15,000 current contractors 11,000 of which are small and medium sized business. Each year over 3,000 new companies win a contract with the Department. This ensures that the Department has a highly competitive marketplace that is constantly competing to meet mission objectives and win contract awards. Although the Government incurs additional labor costs to perform the market research the cost savings from the robust market place and constant competition is tremendous. Furthermore, the companies that survive in the marketplace have a keen understanding of the mission and how to achieve it at the lowest cost. At DHS, performance metrics include rate of competition on each individual procurement ( 76% in FY 12) and operational cost savings (approximately $330M from strategic sourcing alone).
The interesting point here is that the level of competition is so high that contracts tend to be awarded to industry partners that have determined the best way to meet the mission at the lowest cost. This is much different than the goal of helping a corporation maximize shareholder wealth. In the public sector (many times in my experience) we are contracting for services that would normally be an individual company’s competitive advantage. Meaning that many of the contracts we write are to perform a service that many companies would never outsource.
The survey results posted above seem to indicate that public sector professionals do not value competition as a way to minimize operating costs. However, I believe public sector procurement professionals value competition just as much and work in a more complex environment that challenges them to think beyond a single value proposition (maximizing shareholder wealth).
I am wondering if the way the question is written generated misunderstanding. If not, then I believe we need to resuscitate the discussion around minimizing operating costs and promoting competition to ensure that public sector employees understand how valuable this can be. Thoughts?
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