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Hope and glory

Tuesday June 29th, 2010

By Morven MacNeil, GO Features Editor

The National Government Opportunities (GO) magazine Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2010-11 brought procurement professionals together to celebrate the achievements of those who set the benchmark for others to follow.

Now in their ninth year, the National GO Awards showcase the role that procurement plays within the delivery of effective and efficient public services. The 2010-11 National GO Awards event provided all types of organisation – public, private and third sector – with the opportunity to show how they are making a real difference and share best practice with other organisations.

Taking place at the Institution of Civil Engineers at One Great George Street, London on 15 June and organised by GO publishers BiP Solutions, the Awards recognised the achievements made by the public procurement profession in its drive to make efficiency savings.

Chairing the National GO Awards 2010-11 was Grahame Steed, Managing Editor of Government Opportunities magazine. Mr Steed spoke about Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable’s plans regarding the economy and reducing the public sector deficit. He said: “Mr Cameron and Mr Cable have clearly positioned enterprise as being key to the UK’s escape from economic armageddon. However, more interesting is the sub-text to government’s new role and approach, with an emphasis on deregulation and a leaner approach. This mindset opens up the horizon for procurement, and brings into play the bigger picture of commissioning.”

Also speaking at the Awards were Susan Anderson, Director of Public Services and Skills at the CBI, and Michael Stokes, Director of Procurement for the London Development Agency.

Ms Anderson commended the finalists and spoke about how vital procurement will be in the coming years in achieving the new spending reduction targets. She said: “Looking at those nominations, there are great examples of what can be achieved – innovation, good partnership working, value for money – all common themes. What I have found particularly impressive is what you have achieved in the midst of very difficult economic times; and looking ahead, we are going to need your skills and expertise more than ever before.

“Now more than ever, the focus has to be on intelligent commissioning and procurement – you have an essential role to play in this. We in business want to work with you; we know that in the years ahead every penny spent must secure value and deliver the quality of public services that citizens expect. This will require across the board improvements in productivity – maintaining or improving outcomes while using fewer resources.”

Mr Stokes spoke about how procurement can deliver and shape its own future. He said: “The time has now come for procurement to really seize the opportunity. We have to raise our game like we’ve never done before. We need to think outside the box and look for news ways of working, and we have to take tough decisions as directors and leaders. We’ve got to consider restructuring, head count reduction and how we can deliver a more effective procurement with less money.”

Congratulating attendees on making it to the finals of the Awards, Mr Steed said: “The GO Awards are unique. Unique in their coverage, unique in the way in which they recognise all involved in the delivery of public services and unique in their unrelenting focus on innovation and achievement.

“Every year, I am able to say that not only has the number of entries increased, but so has the quality of each entry. This year is no different: a pleasing story of surplus rather than deficit.

“Like the sector they represent, the GO Awards have had to adapt to remain relevant. That’s why this year we’ve made some changes to the categories, with two new ones added and one existing category removed. Encouragingly, one of the new categories – Best Supplier Engagement Initiative – received the second highest number of entries; which highlights the importance of this area, and ties in well with the earlier themes of engaging with enterprise.”

This year’s winners and highly commended entries were of an extremely high standard, showcasing the innovation and commitment evident across the public procurement sector. The National GO Awards 2010-11 Finalists, Highly Commended and Winners were:

GO Sustainability Initiative of the Year Award

Winner: Procurement Scotland

By setting out a clear procurement strategy for the purchase of a £200 million a year utility, Procurement Scotland’s initiative not only delivered savings to a range of public sector organisations, but also empowered them to self-generate electricity from renewable sources and feed any excess into the grid; and to procure electricity directly from renewable sources if they so wished.

Robert Leask, Utilities Portfolio Manager, Procurement Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this Award. It highlights a lot of hard work with a number of organisations and individuals, above all the team at Procurement Scotland who carried out a lot of hard work in terms of the 99+% of the Scottish public sector demand captured by the new contractual arrangements.”

Highly Commended: London Development Agency Building Energy Efficiency Programme

London Development Agency Building Energy Efficiency Programme uses an innovative commercial model to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings, with savings in energy costs re-invested into physical improvements which deliver further emissions reductions. Such is the impact of this initiative that it is being used as a model in other cities worldwide, as well as in London.

Michael Stokes, Director of Procurement, London Development Agency, said: “It’s nice to receive an award that reflects all the hard work that’s been carried out by the team over the last year with our sustainability initiative.”

Finalists: Greater London Authority (GLA) Group, Responsible Procurement; HMRC Sustainable Procurement Team; NHS re:source Collaborative Procurement Hub; and Staffordshire Procurement, Staffordshire County Council

GO Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Benefit in Procurement Award

Winner: Commissioning Business Service

The Commissioning Business Service received recognition for their commissioning of an innovative young people’s sexual health service in the Salford area of Greater Manchester. The judges felt that stakeholder representation on the tender evaluation team gave an unparalleled insight into whether the approach being taken would actually meet end users’ needs, and they were impressed that potential end users of the service took part in mystery shopping style exercises among the tenderers for the contract.

Lesley Kippax, Strategic Procurement and Market Manager, Commissioning Business Service, said: “The CBS is delighted to be the winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Benefit in Procurement Award on behalf of ourselves, Salford PCT and Salford Social Services. This is national recognition of the exceptional work developed and delivered by the team to a service that delivers social benefit to the community, together with a very robust commissioning business plan and effective procurement processes.”

Highly Commended: Transport for London

Transport for London received Highly Commended status for its commitment to responsible procurement, specifically an initiative entitled Strategic Labour Needs and Training which aims to generate employment and training opportunities from the organisation’s supply chain.

Andy Quincey, Director of Group Procurement, TfL, said: “Transport for London is delighted to have received this recognition of its groundbreaking work on generating skills and employment opportunities for Londoners through its supply chain. Not only is TfL working hard to ensure effective and efficient delivery of its services and projects, it is also ensuring its supply chain contributes towards sustaining local communities, particularly those most disadvantaged in the area of skills and employment.”

Finalists: Community Benefits in Procurement Project, Northamptonshire Area Procurement Service; Fitter Kids, Fit For Sport Ltd; North West Collaborative Commercial Agency; and Value Wales – Welsh Assembly Government

GO Individual of the Year Award

Winner: Robert Stewart, Deputy Head of Procurement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Mr Stewart won the Individual of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional commitment to driving efficiencies and value for money savings through his management of significant NHS budgets.

Mr Stewart said: “Having won at the Scottish GO Awards last year I didn’t think I would win, so this Award means a lot to me. I am delighted to be recognised for what I have achieved in my own career. I also believe that this achievement would not be possible without the team at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.”

Finalists: Jonathan Guy, Procurement Officer, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council; and Graham Rothwell, Strategic Procurement Manager, Northamptonshire County Council

GO Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year Award (Health Hubs) – Sponsored by Procurex

Winner: NHS re:source Collaborative Procurement Hub

NHS re:source Collaborative Procurement Hub received their Award in recognition of the team’s collaborative work which has delivered significant efficiency savings on NHS spend since 2006. The judges remarked that it stood out because of its strong focus on the needs of patients, and also because it tackled a national issue.

Maninder Singh Dulku, Senior Category Manager and Continuing Care Project Lead, NHS re:source CPH, said: “To be recognised by the National GO Awards is highly exciting, and we are proud to have won the Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year Award (Health Hubs) for our Continuing Healthcare project. We have worked closely in partnership with NHS PCTs in the East Midlands to transform the way the NHS procures continuing health care services, with results measurably improving care and treatment for patients while saving the taxpayer millions. The award will provide a strong platform to further demonstrate the positive impact procurement excellence can have on health care, and the rewards of collaboration.”

Finalists: NHS South East Coast Collaborative Procurement Hub; NHS South West E-Enablement Project, NHS Peninsula Purchasing and Supply Alliance; and North West Collaborative Commercial Agency

GO Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year Award (Public Sector Consortia) – Sponsored by Procurex

Winner: Tayside Procurement Consortium

Tayside Procurement Consortium has established a shared service organisation that is delivering a procurement reform programme across the local authorities in Tayside. The team has been successfully delivering compliance and efficiencies for the continuous improvement of procurement practice as well as the implementation of a programme of better buying through collaborative procurement.

Elaine Brown, Corporate Procurement Manager, Tayside Contracts, who work on behalf of Tayside Procurement Consortium, said: “We would like to thank the steering group, Dundee Council, Perth and Kinross Council and Angus Council for supporting the procurement initiative and also Alan Harrow, Head of Procurement, who is actually making it happen for the Tayside region.”

Finalists: National Contracts Database Working Group (OGC and RIEPs), Office of Government Commerce; Northern Housing Consortium; and Procurement Scotland

GO Collaborative Procurement Initiative of the Year Award (Other Organisations) – Sponsored by Procurex

Winner: Ealing Council and London Councils

Ealing Council and London Councils won the Award for their innovative collaboration on a shared Out of Hours Service which has identified and delivered cost saving opportunities. The initiative has already demonstrated a 75 per cent reduction in costs and other organisations are now seeking to join.

Elaine McLester, Interim Head of Strategic Procurement, Ealing Council, said: “Winning a GO Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award was wonderful recognition for Ealing Council, London Councils (Capital Ambition) and all those involved. The project involved a lot of hard work and effort to put in place an innovative shared service arrangement that offers better value and direct cost savings, as well as improvements in the quality of service to our customers.”

Finalists: Efficiency North, Sheffield City Council; North-West Foster Care Contract 2010; Skills Development Scotland; Streamlining Social Care Procurement, Thurrock Council; and xchangewales Programme, Value Wales

GO Best Service Award – Sponsored by BiP Solutions Ltd

Winner:  Capita ICT Service/Sheffield City Council

Capita ICT Service won this category following their strategic partnership work with Sheffield City Council to deliver efficiencies through ICT solutions and services. This initiative has not only achieved cost savings, but also significant increases in service delivery, improved security, more effective and efficient working practices and other environmental benefits.

Paul Green, Director of Information Services at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are proud that our partnership with Capita has been recognised by the GO Awards. The transformed ICT service is improving the way our employees work and the services received by the citizens of Sheffield.”

Highly Commended: HCR Ltd/Ministry of Defence

HCR Ltd achieved Highly Commended status for their innovative and collaborative work with the Ministry of Defence through their development of a dynamic system which has provided Service accommodation to meet the standards laid down by the MOD.

Adrian Leach, Business Development Director, HCR Ltd, said: “HCR believes in a partnership approach to seeking best value for our client and this has been recognised once again by the prestigious National GO Awards. To receive Highly Commended status for the second year running demonstrates that HCR and the MOD’s Defence Estates organisation have a superb working relationship.”

Finalists: Central Heating Services Ltd/Sovereign Kingfisher Housing Association; IncomeMax/Hillingdon Council; MAPS Legal Assistance/Hertfordshire County Council; and The Plus Team Ltd/Jobcentre Plus

GO Innovation or Initiative of the Year Award

Winner: North West Collaborative Commercial Agency/Becton, Dickinson and Company

North West Collaborative Commercial Agency/Becton, Dickinson and Company were named winners for their important work to encourage NHS Trusts to adopt a new procedure which could save valuable nursing time and make patient care safer. 

Peter Akid, Chief Executive, North West Collaborative Commercial Agency, said: “We are delighted to win the National GO Award for Innovation or Initiative of the Year. The North West Collaborative Commercial Agency is committed to supporting suppliers who can demonstrate they have developed an innovative product or service that can benefit the NHS, and winning this award will help strengthen our credentials in this area.”

Highly Commended: PageOne Communications/JANET txt

PageOne Communications achieved Highly Commended status for their pioneering JANET txt system, a development which enhances the learning experience for blind and partially sighted learners.

Clair Cawley, Director of Marketing, PageOne Communications, said: “We’re delighted that PageOne/JANET txt’s work with the RNIB College has been highly commended by the GO Awards 2010-11. PageOne/JANET txt is committed to helping schools, colleges and universities improve the overall learner experience, and this external recognition is extremely valued by the team at PageOne.”

Finalists: AGMA Procurement Hub, Trafford Council; Corporate Procurement Team, London Borough of Lambeth; Healthcare Contracting Team, Commissioning Business Service; Malcolm Reading Consultants, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Media Category Unit, Department for Education; and NHS CPC Plus

GO Best Supplier Engagement Initiative Award

Winner: Buy4Sheffield, Sheffield City Council

Sheffield City Council won in the Best Supplier Engagement Initiative category for their innovative and collaborative work which combined eight Sheffield-based public sector organisations with the aim of making it easier for suppliers to communicate and do business with the public sector.

Highly Commended: CompeteFor Team, London Development Agency

The London Development Agency provides the successful web portal project CompeteFor, which has served to provide a single point of access for suppliers to register for London 2012 opportunities.

Michael Stokes, Director of Procurement at the LDA, said: “It’s nice to receive an Award that reflects all the hard work that’s been carried out by the team over the last year, and to be recognised at a national level and to be the first Award winner for this category really means a lot to us and the team. It was thoroughly deserved.”

Finalists: Capital Ambition Supplier Relationship Development Project; Central Bedfordshire Council Procurement; Mail and Office Solutions Category Team, Department for Work and Pensions; and Professional Services Category Team, Department for Work and Pensions

GO Team of the Year Award – Sponsored by BiP Solutions’ Procurement Advice and Support Service (PASS)

Winner: Flexible New Deal Phase One Sourcing Team, Department for Work and Pensions

The Flexible New Deal Phase One Sourcing Team were presented with the coveted Winner’s Award in the Team of the Year category in recognition of their innovative work regarding the delivery of the first Welfare to Work procurement initiative.

Mike Day, Commercial Directorate Sourcing, DWP, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Flexible New Deal Phase One Sourcing Team have been recognised by winning the Team of the Year Award at the prestigious National GO Awards. This was a real team effort in the truest sense – procurement professionals working with Policy, Project, Finance and Delivery colleagues to deliver a fantastic result in challenging circumstances.” 

Highly Commended: NHSScotland National Procurement Programme Management Office

NHSScotland National Procurement Programme Management Office achieved Highly Commended status in recognition of their innovative approaches which are leading the way in the delivery of procurement reform in Scotland.

Alison Brown, Programme Manager, NHSScotland National Procurement, said: “As a small team and after winning the GO Awards Scotland 2009 Team Excellence Award for our work ‘improving procurement capability’, we were over the moon to have this recognised at the National GO Awards 2010-11 with a Highly Commended award. We know what we do is making a difference but it is a real morale boost to have this recognised.”

Highly Commended: Procurement and Efficiency Team, Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands

The Procurement and Efficiency Team at Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands received recognition for their support, amounting to over £1 million grant funding, for a range of innovative procurement-related projects that are yielding a return on investment of over 10:1, focusing primarily on the £4.2 billion annual regional third party procurement spend.

Peter Gordon, Assistant Director, Procurement and Efficiency Team, Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, said: “We are very pleased to receive this recognition. We represent the 33 councils in the region, and it highlights that collaborative procurement, innovation and linked business transformation can deliver results. We have delivered £34 million savings to date, with the potential of around £700 million, so it’s the start of a journey and we are extremely keen and enthusiastic to carry that journey forward.”

Finalists: Corporate Transformation and Procurement Team, London Borough of Sutton; Healthcare Contracting Team, Commissioning Business Service; Medical, Surgical and Pharmacy Procurement Team, NHS South East Coast Collaborative Procurement Hub; NHS re:source Collaborative Procurement Hub; and PDCS Scanning Project Team, Department for Work and Pensions

GO Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient: Peter Coates CBE, Commercial Director, Department of Health

Mr Coates joined the Department of Health in 1997, having previously worked for the Treasury overseeing expenditure proposals from the Department of Health and the NHS. In his new role he was given responsibility for the oversight of the procurement of the PFI hospital programme, after the new Government had identified a massive logjam in the NHS’s capital development programme. This programme has been successful in delivering the NHS Plan’s target of 100 new hospitals to be built and operational by 2010. This has been a major undertaking – a 12-year project with a value of over £10 billion. Both the then Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health personally recognised it was Mr Coates’ efforts that were largely responsible for delivering this result.

Mr Coates was unable to attend the Awards but his colleague John Warrington, Deputy Director of the Procurement, Investment and Commercial Division, Department of Health, accepted the Award on his behalf. Mr Warrington said: “Peter is really proud to have achieved this Award, particularly looking at some of the previous recipients. I’ve only been working with Peter for a year, and I have to say it is pretty clear to me why he has won this Award. I think the measure of the man really is the way he has done it – he is an honest guy, full of integrity, and has an absolute passion for doing the right thing.”

The quality and quantity of entries into the National GO Awards 2010-11 has certainly raised the bar, and the judging panel look forward to an even harder time in deciding the outcome of next year’s Awards.

Also returning this year is the GO Awards Scotland 2010-11 event, for which we are now accepting entries. Launched in 2008, the GO Awards Scotland are the only awards dedicated to public procurement in the region. The event takes place at the Crowne Plaza, Glasgow on 26 October, in conjunction with Procurex Scotland 2010. The deadline for submissions is 16 August, so please visit to avoid disappointment.

or a further in-depth review of the Awards and to view our photo gallery, please go to:

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