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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Keystone Column containing business stories and public procurement opportunities that drive the commercial strategy of ambitious companies. This week, we focus on some recent news from around the world illustrating how procurement risk is evolving.

Business stories – risky business!

Supply chain risk hits three-year high

Global supply chain risk climbed to a level not seen since 2013, according to the latest CIPS Risk Index, continuing a worsening trend in global procurement risk.

The report said that amid slow global economic growth and subdued commodity prices, the UK’s vote to leave Europe rippled through global supply chains. “The UK’s departure from the EU could lead to some of the most dramatic shifts and severe implications for global supply chains in the coming years,” said CIPS economist John Glen.

At a global level, the UK’s vote to leave the EU underlines concerns about a wider shift towards protectionism. In France, it said the UK vote has given a boost to the National Front, which is campaigning for more economic protectionism; the party also wants to hold an EU membership referendum. In the US, the presidential election shows that a significant proportion of the population feel that global trade has not been in their interest.

“In the end, businesses may need to rebuild their distribution channels to match the new trade map,” noted Glen.

Scammers posing as procurement officials

E-Procurement platforms are becoming firmly established right around the world as a valuable procurement tool. Unfortunately as with all things online: where legitimate business goes, fraudsters follow! And so to news of an old procurement risk updated for the internet age: fraud.

Ghana’s Public Procurement Authority (PPA) has issued an alert warning that scammers are posing as PPA officials to contact firms and make claims about the award of contracts.

The scammers are contacting companies to invite tenders or tell them they have been awarded contracts. “Fraudsters are presenting themselves as legitimate Public Procurement officials using the domain name: to masquerade as PPA officials,” said the PPA.


Innovation – Ireland ranked seventh in the world for innovation.

Supply Management reports that Switzerland has topped a ranking of the world’s most innovative economies. Sweden takes the runners-up spot, followed by the UK, but Irish businesses will be interested to note the the annual Global Innovation Index (GII) report ranks Ireland as 7th in the world!

The GII, drawn up by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), also showed China had entered the top 25, a first for a “middle-income” country in the nine years of the GII. “Despite China’s rise, an innovation divide persists between developed and developing countries amid increasing awareness among policymakers that fostering innovation is crucial to a vibrant, competitive economy,” said the report.

The index, which ranks more than 100 countries, also highlighted four economies – Japan, the US, the UK and Germany (interestingly ranked 3 places below Ireland in 10th place)– that stood out in “innovation quality”, based on the calibre of universities, number of scientific publications and international patent filings.

Ranked 22nd for 3rd level education and 20th for infrastructure, Ireland’s strengths lie in knowledge and technology outputs, and knowledge absorption (business sophistication). Ranked 1st in the world for intellectual property payments and FDI inflows, Ireland appears to depend on multinationals for much of its high scores.

While Ireland’s overall ranking of 7th is a good indicator of success for government policy regarding FDI, the picture is a little less exciting regarding innovation in the country’s indigenous private and public sectors.

Top 10 countries for innovation
  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. UK
  4. US
  5. Finland
  6. Singapore
  7. Ireland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Germany
Note: we are in the sourcing & procurement business. We highlight things we like or that are novel or innovative. Innovators should be encouraged.

New public procurement tenders this week 

Visit the Keystone website to view our take on the 500+ active public procurement opportunities with more than five days until their deadline. There are a vast range of services, supplies and construction related to public procurement opportunities in the following sectors (there are many more sectors than the sample list below):

  • Construction and related trades, 
  • Professional & Advisory Services, 
  • PR, Media, Advertising and related,
  • ICT supplies and services, 
  • Training,
  • Property & facilities management,
  • Vehicle & automotive,
  • Catering and related services,
  • Cleaning and related services,
  • Waste Management,
  • Maintenance and related services,
  • Horticultural supplies & services,
  • Research & environmental monitoring,
  • Printing, office supplies and related services,
  • Trades,
  • Medical and scientific research, supplies and services,
  • A vast range of other services and supplies.

Businesses interested in any of these public procurement opportunities that are unsure of how they can follow-up on these tenders can contact Keystone at any stage. We would be happy to discuss your needs and where they may fit with your business growth plans. These public procurement opportunities are sources of business growth and innovation for companies across the country.

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 2508 (by date of publication)

Keystone E-Tenders Report Open YTD as at 2508 (by sector)

Please note, e-tenders often has public procurement opportunities incorrectly categorised so people relying on e-tender alerts could easily miss out on opportunities if they are dependent on it. E-tenders is only as reliable as the people inputting tenders and mistakes are made very frequently. The Keystone Column includes all live tenders posted on e-tenders since January 4th 2016 that have five or more days until their deadline as at August 25th 2016.