It’s been a while since I waited on a bus. I do remember as a child though waiting on buses intently and noticing that there are none, and then they all come along at once. Sometimes this sent the waiting queue into a frenzied gallop for the one at the back, knowing they would get a seat……failing miserably of course to take into account the fact that the bus at the back was most likely the bus at the front the stop before – making it far more likely that the seats were already full!
I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised that Cabinet Office guidance around the implementation of the new Public Procurement Regulations is coming at us like these off-schedule buses? I mean, after all, they went for the quickest adoption of all of the EU member states. Even faster than I imagine most of us thought possible. Perhaps an indication of the way they felt procurement ‘of the future’ should be conducted – far more High Speed Rail than the 007 Bus from London to Deal!
So, within one week (almost a week to the day since the last blog) Cabinet Office issued
- Taking account of suppliers past performance
- Prompt payment and performance reporting
- Sustainable skills development through major construction and infrastructure projects
All of which are relevant to undertaking Public Procurement. So there we all were, getting cosy with the fact that we were starting to get used to the idea that we were going to be using a standard PQQ, that we would be learning how to use contracts finder and even that we were able to happily engage with the market courtesy of Lord Young and just when we thought it safe to start procuring again, along came more Procurement Policy Notes (PPNs)!
So yes, PPNs are like buses, but the ability of Contracting Authorities to adopt and implement some quite significant changes could be as prompt and direct as the HS1 London to Deal (1hr 22 mins) or as shaken (& stirred) as the 007 from Victoria to Deal (2hr 30mins). I suppose the moral of the tale here is that while it can be quite nice having a meander on a comfy coach (with a guaranteed seat) through the countryside while still getting to your destination, sadly, there is an urgent requirement to take the High Speed route and update your procedures to not only comply with your internal regulations, but also to ensure that you take into account the requirements of the ever changing PPNs.
If you don’t have the internal time to undertake the ‘high speed’ route – give the team at Cameron Consulting a call. We are actively implementing the regulations (and the continually changing PPNs) for our clients and we would happily assist in making the journey as smooth as possible for you while ensuring that you maintain compliance during this very busy time.