https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2012/11/20/spotlight-on-procurement/

Spotlight on procurement

Before we launched GOV.UK we introduced you to the Finance team and the Hosting and Infrastructure team. In this the third film the spotlight is on Mark Pinheiro who talks about his work in procurement.

The next team under the spotlight will be the transformation team.

Spotlight on procurement – video transcript

Mark Pinheiro (Head of Supplier Management, Government Digital Service):

It’s a very pro-active activity, procurement, as opposed to just buying, which to me is a one-off activity. Procurement is owning the whole relationship with the supplier as well. It really is about relationship building. Suppliers need to be embedded within the organisation. They’re an extension of what we do. It’s demystifying the procurement process for people: time to market, best route, less stress, have you got all the detail there. When I walk away from my desk, I’m hoping that everything that we have done in procurement today has helped GDS move forward.

Which comes first, price or quality?

Price is very important, and to get the best price is what we should be doing. I come from the automotive industry and they used to say, quality was a giveme or throwaway, in other words, you never spoke about quality because it was always embedded in the product. So the only things we would talk about then would be delivery and price, or the service around that, and I see the same thing here, really. We have a minimum quality standard, whatever that is, so let’s not talk about quality, let’s talk about how you’re going to build that quality into the product you’re going to deliver to us, how you’re going to make that product work for us very quickly, and how you’re going to make sure that when it’s there it’s the right thing for us. It’s delivering a product that we can use immediately.

What is G-Cloud?

G-Cloud is very typical in reducing the red tape. All you have to do is say you’re a limited company and you can prove these one or two small, minor activities, and then you’re onto the G-Cloud with your service offerings. The Cloudstore is the front end to the G-Cloud, G-Cloud is the framework where all the suppliers are embedded to supply the services to government.

What is the dynamic marketplace?

Dynamic marketplace or ‘spot buy’ is for procurement under £100,000. Suppliers can bid for work, we open the tender documents up, they have three or four days to respond, we have three or four days to evaluate, and then we start telling the successful bidder, you’ve won the business. So it’s a very quick marketplace – dynamic.

Why SMEs?

SME – Small – Medium Enterprise. It’s the view of the government that we should try and increase our spend with SMEs. If they’re smaller than the larger organisations, they should have smaller overheads, therefore the price should be far more competitive. We’re already talking to SMEs, saying this is what we’re doing, if you want to be part of this, sign up via the dynamic marketplace or sign up into the G-Cloud, it puts you into the frame where we can ask you to tender to us. We’ve had feedback from SMEs about how we’re doing things and how we want to do things and they are excited about the way we’re trying to change the commercial landscape of how we engage with them.

How would you describe your job?

It’s about helping people. I work in a team that produces the interface for people to talk to government. That’s what I do every day.

8 comments

  1. David Chassels

    And so will PASC “spotlight HMG procurement” could be rough ride as HMG still not looking at innovation unlike Dutch government and knowing if “open source” is actually cheaper than new technologies – a commitment made by the Minister?

    Reply
  2. Luke Oatham

    As a speaker at the featured SME event and a small business on the G-Cloud, this move to a more streamlined procurement framework gets the thumbs up from me. It cuts through the procurement red tape for both customers and businesses and allows both government and small business to get the savings and efficiency benefits you describe.

    However, it’s a pity that the Cloudstore website was not designed with the same care and attention as the GOV.UK website. The usability from both the customer and business ends of the site is poor. I recently had to hand-hold a prospective client through the Cloudstore because she couldn’t use the site. And the administration procedures required from businesses each month are laborious and overly bureaucratic.

    To get the full benefits of the G-Cloud and the Cloudstore you need to make some significant improvements to the website. It needs to be written in plain English and not IT-speak. It needs to be tested with real people. Iterate. then iterate again?

    Reply
    • nettienwilliams

      Thank you for your comments Luke. We have spoken with our colleagues in the Cloudstore team who have asked us to post this reply on their behalf. “We chose to use Procserve as the current Cloudstore provider because we are simply utilising a GPS shared service. Procserve are the existing supplier of the Government Procurement Service, Government eMarketplace. We plan to keep iterating the CloudStore and, as with the last version key to doing this will be feedback from users and stakeholders. We already know that there are certain aspects of the CloudStore that we wish to look at improving access such as the search functionality, appearance and use-ability.”

      Reply
  3. george holt

    What has happened to the Tree Preservation Orders. It appears the new broom has allowed the baby to go down the plug hole

    Reply
    • paulclarke

      A search on GOV.UK for “Tree Preservation Orders” should bring up relevant pages such as this one: https://www.gov.uk/apply-work-on-protected-tree

      As these orders are administered by local authorities, putting in a postcode on this page should take you through to the right page within the relevant local authority website. Let us know if that helps, or if there’s something else you’re looking for.

      Reply
  4. Geoff Annison

    This is a very interesting item that is essential viewing for those in procurement or involved at any stage in design, product selection or commissioning. I would like to share this widely within my organisation, especially with those in procurement and project development.

    However, at the moment sharing this will be very difficult. Unfortunately, like many in the public service we are still working in an environment where access is blocked to social media including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Flicker and even the manage blogs element of Word Press along with a a range of other types of website. I had to watch this last night at home and enter my comments today before work as the comment function on this web site also appears to be blocked.

    Until access is freed up and made more generally available across the public sector is it possible to include transcripts when posting YouTube videos and to always provide an alternative to Twitter for links. The information coming out of GDS is essential to informing decision makers and getting some priority to making the changes that will give people in working to develop Digital Services access to the media they need.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Graham Higgins

      Hi Geoff, thanks for your feedback. I take your points, and appreciate the difficulty of sharing multimedia content and accessing social media in secure networks having worked for DWP myself. It’s heartening you still took the trouble to get in touch from home despite access being blocked at work. Thanks for your patience. I’ve now added a transcript, and subtitles are also available on YouTube. I’ll see if we can provide a download version too. It may be worth lobbying your IT people to see if they can make some exceptions for things like this where there is a clear need and no security risk. Thanks, Graham

      Reply
  5. Meet the Transformation team | Government Digital Service

    [...] previously introduced the Finance team and the Hosting and Infrastructure team, and shone the Spotlight on procurement. Now we invite you to find out more about the work of the Transformation [...]

    Reply

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