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FDA: ‘Serving the public’ should mean serving them first and not oneself - In his speech to the FDA's annual conference on 14 May, Jonathan Baume, General Secretary of the FDA – the union for senior managers and professionals in public service – called for the renewal of Lord Nolan's Seven Principles of Public Life, saying:
"Democracy in Britain is reaching a point of crisis. The greed of many MPs, including Ministers, is little short of corruption. Had they been civil servants, they would have been sacked. Too many politicians have broken the bond of trust with the taxpayer, and they will find it hard to repair………….
CD: Neither ‘Cheap’ nor ‘Cheerful’ - As the sun comes out, so do the rogue traders, warns Consumer Direct. Between April & September 2009, Consumer Direct, the OFT's advice service, received 2,384 complaints about cold callers offering home maintenance services, 15% higher than during the autumn and winter months.
The top complaints were about contractors offering tarmacing and paving services (25%), roofing repairs (20%) and insulation work (11%). Putting right sub-standard work can also be costly. Recent research by Lloyds TSB Insurance found that the cost for correcting botched home improvement work averaged £460.
OFT: Why do we believe we can have won a competition we never entered? - The psychological reasons consumers may fall victim to mass marketed scams have been revealed in research undertaken by the University of Exeter for the Office of Fair Trading. It provides a valuable insight into why consumers fall victim to scams, as well as the psychological techniques used by scammers to con the UK public out of an estimated £3.5bn every year.
The research also found that many scams use a range of highly persuasive techniques. A common tactic is to seek to exploit basic human emotions such as excitement or fear to provoke a spontaneous 'gut reaction' to the scam offer. Such scams also abuse people's trust of authority by making a scam look like a legitimate offer from a reputable business or official institution.
Defra: For Peat’s Sake - Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has urged garden centres & retailers to make it clear if compost they sell contains peat and to highlight the damage its use does to wildlife & the environment. Peat bogs are an important store of carbon emissions, but peat dug up in Britain for garden compost releases almost half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year - the equivalent of 100,000 cars on the road. Defra commissioned reports on peat & the greenhouse gas emissions from growing media are due in the summer.
BS: Bid lower or you won’t win the contract - A series of eAuctions (sponsored by Buying Solutions) have enabled public sector organisations to make 13% to 29% savings across a range of products & services, including mobile solutions, IT hardware and furniture.
An eAuction, which is effectively an electronic reverse auction, is a Further Competition tool available under Buying Solutions' framework agreements, which can be utilised to ensure minimum procurement overheads for maximum savings return.
Suppliers take part & compete against each other to place increasingly lower bids representing the amount they would be prepared to accept in payment for the contract. This is how 'reverse' auctions differ from traditional auctions in which buyers compete with one another on how much they are prepared to pay. Press release ~ Government's Operational Efficiency Programme ~ BS - eAuctions
Industry News: The way to Best Value Procurement is through e-Auctions - In the current economic climate eAuctions offer procurers the ability to secure better contract terms & prices for the commodities they procure, whilst enabling the supplier to compete for business in a more transparent manner, where they can make judgment calls based on their actual ability to supply. This allows Public Sector organisations to gain cashable savings without compromising on quality.
What commodities are suitable for an eAuction? Any goods or services that can be accurately specified and are of a sufficient value to attract competition are suitable for an eAuction.
What are the possible cost savings? Due North have effectively carried out & fully managed a number of successful eAuctions which have generated cost savings, for example, of 4% for School/Social Care Transport, 13% for Agency Staff, 30% for Telecoms and up to 50% for Water Dispensers
Due North’sProAuction software provides you with a platform that facilitates real time negotiations with your suppliers. It can be adopted as a standalone module or fully integrated with the ProContract e-sourcing& contract management suite. Due to the intuitive nature of the software any organisation can, with ease, set up & run their own auctions, or where preferred, opt to select the fully managed service Due North offer, including set up & execution of the auction on your behalf.
Click here to find out more about how eAuctions can be easily integrated with your current procurement process and to receive your free copy of Due North's eAuctions Uncovered Guide.
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