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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!!
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.
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
On Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:11:02 +0100, Dave Preston wrote:
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...
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.
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.
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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