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There is a new Procurement Bill going through Parliament, and it will have an impact on small to medium size suppliers to the public sector, like ISL.
For over 10 years ISL has provided route optimisation software & support services to UK local authorities in the NE of England. The Councils in question were originally part of a partnership the aim of which was to improve efficiencies in the delivery of waste & recycling collection operations, and related services. Even though this partnership no longer exists formally the relevant authorities are still sharing best practice, knowledge and, importantly, procurement strategy as they continue to deliver value for money. The route optimisation software has delivered significant savings by minimising mileage & fuel while enabling responsive waste & recycling collection services. As well as providing financial savings, the RouteSmart software is deployed to reduce carbon emissions helping authorities meet their environmental targets. There is a strong community of users across the partnership, which is set to continue over the 4-year term of a new contract awarded via the Data and Application Solutions Framework from the Crown Commercial Service, which provided a simple, but fully compliant route to contract award.
Thankfully the UK has such procurement mechanisms that not only ensure fair play, transparency and oversight, but also value for money for the public purse. Arguably there are too many routes by which public sector organisations can procure products and services some of which are not as efficient as they could be. Brexit has also had an impact as the UK needs to ensure that fair & open procurement opportunities exist with trading partners.
Did you know that one in every three pounds of public money, some £300 Billion a year, is spent on public procurement? The new procurement reforms proposed within the Bill are important because they will shake up an outdated and sometimes unwieldy procurement system, and help ensure that every pound spent on communities and public services goes further. Perhaps more importantly, the new Bill will allow the public sector to get tough on poor performers and fraudsters as well as open up public procurement to new entrants such as small businesses and social enterprises so that they can compete for and win more public contracts.
As an SME and Employee Owned Trust, ISL welcomes any new procurement legislation that levels the playing field for smaller suppliers, and streamlines the ability of public sector organisations to procure services. The company looks forward to the new procurement rules that will ensure current clients, such as those Councils in the north-east of England, will be able to seamlessly renew contracts that represent good value for money for taxpayers, and benefit the environment.