Procurement

On the telly Angus Maud is boasting of how he has sorted out government procurement issues. On my PC I have adverts for a particular wireless freezer alarm. The price in the USA is $26. In the UK two firms will supply at £40.10. A firm which describes itself as a major NHS supplier has the item at £77.00.
Bill
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And.............?
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On 02/10/2014 05:56, harryagain wrote:

It doesn't strike you as strange that a supplier to a government department (Presumably a supplier picked more or less at random) is doing so at a published price almost double that offered to the average consumer, and at a price about six times that paid in the USA, even allowing for VAT and import duty, at the same time as a spokesman is claiming to have sorted out Government procurement issues?
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On 02/10/14 06:50, John Williamson wrote:

+1
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On 02/10/2014 06:50, John Williamson wrote:

Not if the product is readily available from other UK suppliers. If they are supplying this product to the NHS*, it will be as the result of a competitive tender or against a framework agreement, which means their list price is unlikely to reflect the price to the NHS. A high list price can be to discourage people you don't want to sell to or it can be so that you can give impressive looking discounts to the people you do want to sell to.
* We don't actually know whether they are from the information available. We only know that they supply to the NHS and that they sell this product. I used to be able to claim to be a supplier to the NHS, to HM Prison Service, to the British armed forces and to NATO, but none of them bought every product I sold.
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If you have ever had to get in a government approved supplier list, you will understand why you need to charge double the price for everything - or if its MIL-SPEC, 100 times..
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On Thursday, 2 October 2014 06:50:18 UTC+1, John Williamson wrote:

doesn;t suprise me working in government/education, what they do is employ adminstrators that have little if no idea of what they are administrating, so then they get themselves an assistant. That will require yet more admin. hen they send out fine crafted emails about things they know nothing about and it all goes wrong, so they get more admin in to sort it out. And that's without their so called equal oppotunities slowing things down.
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Why does the bulk price negotiated by the NHS with this supplier has anything to do with the single-item price offered to the consumer on a website?
Not saying you're necessarily wrong though... :(
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On 02/10/2014 08:05, Lobster wrote:

You should try working for a public corporation and see how much they pay for goods and services.
I'm not saying it was all good when it was in-house/nationalised (it wasn't). But the procurement processes from the early 80s made it one big earner for the boys.
I know some who did very well out of it. You don't need to be clever - in fact, anecdotally, a near inverse relationship between acumen and wealth.
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I knew you were a man of many talents but had not appreciated they included hearing the dead[1] :)
[1] ITYM Francis Maude. His dad - Angus Maude - was also a Minister but is long dead.
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Robin wrote:

It said Angus Maude on the strapline.
Bill
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RJH wrote on 02/10/2014 :

My wife is a section manager in HMRC and I cannot believe just how much we, the taxpayers, are ripped off by companies supplying goods and services to the government.
There was a small shuffle round in her office and someone moved from the first to the second floor. To unplug the computer from one desk, take it up one floor and plug it back in again, the department were charged £1,000 - yes, that is *one* *thousand* of our taxpayer pounds!!
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real money or funny money?
I can give you loads of examples of the internal accounting funny money cost of something being 5-10 times the costs of getting someone in from "outside" to do the job.
Butt if you don't pay the funny money supplier, the department providing that service still has all of their costs sitting on the cost side of the company's P&L
tim
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On Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:11:02 +0100, Dave Preston wrote:

s!!
On the plain face of it that is a serious rip off but what had to go on behind the scenes in network configuration to enable the move to take place? There could be all manner of implications relating to security etc that could well mean that the switch(es) handling the network on the second floor needed upgrading. A mutlifloored office building with hundreds of PC's is nothing like a home LAN with a single unmanaged switch costing £20...
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This is the old 'what the market can stand' ethos. Its alive and well in all sorts of markets. Brian
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On 03/10/14 09:34, Brian Gaff wrote:

The error here is that some wasteful fool at the NHS is not on the phone to the americans buying theirs!
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Dave Liquorice presented the following explanation :

Nothing like that I'm afraid - unplugged from first floor at about 10am and working again on second floor about 20 minutes later.
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On 03/10/2014 10:05, Dave Preston wrote:

Which may only mean that the IT department or the contractor had done the other work in advance. Maybe the previous evening, maybe a few days or weeks beforehand, when the move was first proposed, or "just in case", when the management started talking about changes.
I'm not saying that this was the case, as I don't have enough information to be definite, but any change to computer layouts on a biggish network will involve at least some midnight oil being burned by the IT department to allow a PC to be unplugged <here> and plugged in <There>, even if it's only checking that it will (a) work, and (b) not break the network. At least we don't use lengths of co-ax that need to be terminated and connected to in the right way any more, when a bad connector could tale down a whole subnet or you could do the same just by unplugging a computer.
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On 03/10/2014 15:47, John Williamson wrote:

Against that most large offices with non-specialist security requirements should be designed so the sockets are fairly generic - plugging into "floor 3 switch 1 port 17" should be the same as "floor 5 switch 5 port 32".
Midnight oil burning is when you're moving the switches, not the endpoints, and you'd not do that for a single desk move unless you'd cocked up on capacity planning.
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As usual YMMV but I worked in a government department which was recruiting professional purchasing managers from the private sector (and training staff to same standards) from the 1980s onwards. And quite a few of those staff then went to procurement jobs in the private sector.
Bear in mind too that cock-ups on procurement (and most other things) in the private sector don't get the same exposure. There's good reasons the private sector are terrified of the PAC and NAO following public money into their books.
And Francis Maude takes it to extremes: he says he wants civil servants to JFDI but he and his Ministerial colleagues are then quick to hang civil servants out to dry if what Ministers told them to do is both a political car crash and waste of money.
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