20 Mar 2017

Supporting procurement excellence across the MOD


We preview how defence buyers can develop their skills in the Buyer Excellence in Procurement Knowledge Transfer Zone.

DPRTE’s Buyer Excellence in Procurement Knowledge Transfer Zone features a range of buyer-focused sessions designed to enhance skills within areas specific to Ministry of Defence buyers, including several presentations from PASS Training, part of BiP Group.

With the recent publication of the new UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR 2015), the procurement process that all MOD buyers must follow has changed and every area of procurement has been affected.

These include changes to the procedures; the OJEU proformas; advertising; timescales; selection; award criteria; terms and conditions; and more.

The PASS sessions will be delivered by Eddie Regan, BiP Solutions’ Principal Procurement Consultant. Working alongside the Client Services team, he frequently assists public sector organisations with clarification and interpretation of EU Directives and a wide variety of legislative issues.

For the last 19 years Regan has lectured regularly on procurement policy and processes at conferences and events, both on behalf of BiP and for a variety of other organisations. He also provides in-house training on the tendering process to personnel in both the public and private sectors. All PASS sessions are CPD Certified.

He will outline how contract management is a key factor in delivering successful outcomes in a contract and the principles of ensuring that the contract delivers exactly what the client requires. These principles are easily complemented by lean procurement principles which are aimed at improving efficiencies and performance, eliminating wasteful activities and reducing total waste.

He says: “Together these key processes can instil a structured contract regime and deliver better outcomes for the contracting authority.’’

While many aspects of procurement in the defence sector are covered under the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 (DSPCR 2011) there still remains a substantial element of defence procurement which is directly covered by PCR 2015.

Regan explains: “From common off-the-shelf products to day-to-day services and even mundane repair and maintenance requirements – all need to be procured under the same regulations as a local authority or a university. The PCR 2015 outline the base procurement rules for the entire public sector and the procedures, timescales and processes therein provide a clear guidance on the rules which are applicable to procurement.’’

The new standard Selection Questionnaire (SQ) is intended to replace the old Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and is designed to align with the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD). The SQ defines the key questions to which buyers should seek answers when inviting suppliers to respond at the selection stage.

However, Regan warns: “Unless buyers position their contract-specific questions correctly and in doing so ensure they are weighted appropriately, they run a distinct risk of failing to get the best outcomes from the SQ.’’

On tender specifications, he says: “A good tender specification is wholly reliant on the capabilities of those designing it. Good tender specifications need to take careful consideration of the requirement and be written in clear and concise terms, detailing any technical, functional or performance characteristics that are intrinsic to the delivery of a successful outcome. A good specification should also identify the minimum requirements that the solution must meet and should preferably be written in output or outcome terms to allow bidders to offer innovative solutions.’’

Regan believes that open market engagement can be hugely beneficial, in helping contracting authorities to define a clear procurement route.

He says: “By understanding the latest trends in a market, or getting an indication of market interest in the opportunity, the contracting authority can then develop a tender specification to ensure any issues identified during the market engagement are covered. It is key, however, that any information considered does not have the effect of distorting competition or result in a violation of the principles of non-discrimination and transparency, by favouring a specific provider or solution.’’


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