Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Private Eye has a regular feature called Solutions, where readers send in ludicrous examples of organisations that so describe their services. EG:

"Uniq's Vision is to be the most exciting provider of chilled food solutions to our customers across Europe "

"The Blue Team: Outsourced Vehicle Movement Solutions "

"Integrated Care Solutions (Shropshire): working in partnership to deliver Residential, Day-care and Extra-care solutions "

One the Eye may have missed is the government's procurement agency. That not only describes its service as a solution, but it actually brands itself that way:

What's more- as you can see- it also incorporates a stylee. Could anything be more cutting edge?

Weelllll.... it turns out that to be a "solution" you really need more than a snappy logo.

The Public Accounts Committee is distinctly underwhelmed (to use the Chairman's favourite phrase). In fact in today's report they pretty well tear to pieces. Sir Edward summarises:

" really should be centre stage in the drive to achieve better value public sector procurement – at present it is just one of the chorus.

Very little public sector spending benefits at the moment... Attracting more customers from the public sector will require driving down the prices it can offer.

The agency acknowledges that it currently lacks the level of commercial acumen to negotiate attractive deals with its suppliers. must get a better idea of what its customers want... And the agency should ensure that its suppliers are left in no doubt over what they need to do to meet customer requirements better.”

So not much of a solution.

We blogged the damning National Audit Report on OGC here. That showed how the OGC lacks commercial skills (who'd want to work for the commissars if they had those skills?), and is extraordinarily distant from its public sector "customers".

In reality, is just one more bureaucratic arm of our £175bn pa Simple Shopper.

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