Bid ManagementKeystone Column

Keystone Column 74 – Politics of procurement

By 8th June 2017 No Comments
Keystone Column 74 - Politics of Procurement

Welcome to the Keystone Column. This week some updates about procurement regulations and a look at the politics of procurement: what the parties proposed for procurement in this week’s UK general election and what it means for Irish polictics.  Plus a SMART business in Clare. As usual, we conclude with our weekly list of current Irish public tenders.


Business news

Ireland published and adopts the EU Concessions Directive

McCannFitzgerald’s have published a useful primer on the last of three procurement directives, the Concessions directive. It is written in plain English and provides a useful guide to how and when it will apply. The difference between Concessions contracts and all other forms of contracts is that the state is effectively issuing a concession or license or agency through which somebody will make money by exploiting that “right”. They are not being paid to do something like repair a phone network. Rather they are expected to make their money from operating their concession. Examples of concessions include Toll Bridges, National Lottery licenses, Prize Bonds etc.


Interesting Trends

Politics of Procurement – Procurement related proposals in the British General Election 2017

Across the water (in Great Britain), the election this week will decide on who negotiates the UKs (or at least England’s) exit from the European Union. An interesting posting on the Tender’s Direct blog this week provides a comparative analysis of the parties that compete against each other for seats in Westminster (i.e. everyone except the Northern Ireland parties). The manifestos proposals overall lack vision and understanding of the more common problems that exist across the EU in procurement.

The key trends based on the proposals are:

  • Centralisation of expenditure vs. localisation of expenditure: Politicians like to play the Local Hero so the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and UKIP specify this.
  • Reserving a percentage of contracts for SMEs: this can be brought about through providing discretion to buyers without resort to what would be illegal mechanisms such as laying down an arbitrary SME only figure for contracts. The UK remains bound by EU rules.
  • Imposing social obligations on companies winning public work: All the populist left have measures that lay out social obligations they believe contractors must comply with. The SNP want only companies paying the living wage to be eligible for contracts; the Labour Party goes much, much further (including the impostition of a maximum 20:1 ratio difference between boardroom pay and the lowest paid worker of a company bidding for public contracts; the Liberal Democrats want strong environmental standards (climate change related) to dictate whether companies are eligible for contracts.
  • Prompt payment of suppliers (by main contractors) and by State authorities: This is specified by the Conservative and Unionist Party in particular although Labour state they will impose the prompt payment requirement on how the companies with State contracts treat their own suppliers.

Only UKIP and Labour have produced specific proposals for the procurement process with UKIP’s proposals closest to what one might expect to see on a CPO’s agenda. The Labour Party in the UK has outlined a set of seven principles for procurement which are radical. All other proposals are more focused on SMEs and access to contracts.

Some Irish companies may wonder why we are covering this in such detail on a blog aimed mainly at the Irish market. The answer is simple, we expect to see a number of these proposals in the hard and soft left’s manifestos in the next Irish General Election manifestos. The seven principles don’t just seek to impose limits on boardroom pay but also specify mandatory recognition of trade unions and facilitation of apprenticeships. The legality let alone the merits of these proposals can be debated elsewhere, the fact is however that measures like this represent a challenge to the modus operandi in Ireland and it is worth staying abreast of these developments.



Clare company in SMART Technology Breakthrough

Good news of a transatlantic breakthrough for Irish company Tekelek in Canada. Tekelek have teamed up with US company Paygo to expand into Canada and other new markets. Tekelek who have deep expertise in the monitoring of fuel tanks while Paygo have fuel and procurement monitoring systems. The SMART (IoT) technology will integrate with Paygo’s systems and allow for the seamless maintenance of fuel levels for industrial customers singed-up to this service offering.


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 strategic 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.

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 that have five or more days until their deadline as at June 8th 2017.