Sat07222017

Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Chris Hoyle investigates how to manage procurement crises

The history of the world is littered with failures; some heroic like Dunkirk and others inglorious like Chernobyl. Procurement is no exception, even if it’s not so epic. The phrase ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ helped bring down the Labour government in 1979. Fashioned by a Sun journalist – and not Jim Callaghan, the Prime Minister, as is commonly thought – the headline caught the popular impression of a government unaware of a very serious state of affairs which had sneaked up on it. The phrase though emphasises the high penalty that can be paid by the unwary procurer. The message I’d like to deliver is a simple one and it’s derived from this phrase. Procurement crises happen – people and systems can fail – but informed people can prevent them, and when these crises occur they can rescue the situation.

Peter Kershaw highlights the need for investment planning to address the housing requirements of the disabled and elderly

Winston Churchill made a powerful observation in October 1943 about the impact of planning. He stated with absolute conviction that ‘we shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us’.

Emily Heard reviews the legal considerations governing price/quality evaluations

In the current economic climate, establishing a price/quality evaluation model that delivers the right level of quality at the best possible price is important. There is not a single ‘best practice’ model. In this article I look at a variety of different models that exist, and provide some insight into potential pitfalls if using particular models.

Richard Hough outlines recent judicial guidance on the clarification of tenders

Clarification of tender submissions can be a minefield for contracting authorities. In addition, the growing trend for tender submissions being submitted electronically through a portal can lead to additional problems, such as tender documents not uploading correctly or incorrect documents being uploaded. Even where the tender submission is complete, answers may assume a level of knowledge on the part of the reader that the contracting authority may not possess, eg because the answer is very technical.

Thomas Webb and Georges-Louis Harang weigh up Anglo/French anti-bribery legislation

The UK Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1 July 2011, creating for businesses operating in the UK the most stringent and far-reaching anti-bribery legal regime in the world. In particular, it imposed strict criminal liability on corporates that failed to prevent bribery. On the other hand, UK companies may be able to avoid prosecution by being invited to agree a ‘deferred prosecution agreement’ (DPA) with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). A DPA requires civil court approval which will only be provided if the company can demonstrate that it has, among other things, provided the SFO with full co-operation.

Helen Prandy, Jenny Beresford-Jones and Ruth Smith consider the impact of NDA v EnergySolutions

One of the highest profile public procurement challenges brought over the past year is the case of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority v EnergySolutions EU Ltd [2017]. The large number of decisions in the various pieces of litigation which arose following EnergySolutions’ unsuccessful bid for a multibillion-pound contract for the decommissioning of nuclear sites in the UK have not only established some new law but also reinforced well-established principles of good practice, which are useful to consider when reviewing any evaluation exercise, whether as a bidder or as a contracting authority.

Peter Kershaw voices his growing concern at the lack of involvement of planning law expertise in the long-term strategies of universities and local authorities

With increased competition from national and international competitors, and rising student numbers, universities are competing against each other for the best students who are increasingly savvy about where they choose to work, live and play. Universities around the globe are therefore necessarily investing in higher quality, multi-faceted and mixed-use environments to try and achieve their long-term strategic missions. In doing so, their focus is very much on creating enhanced student experiences and trying to enhance the university’s role within the local community by creating linkages with local businesses and local authorities.

John Doherty and Nicole Finlayson provide a timely update on bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption are firmly in the spotlight for 2017, with an ever-increasing commitment from regulators in the UK and abroad to work together and take a harder line against companies which fall foul of anti-corruption laws. The results can be seen in the wave of high-profile investigations and record-breaking prosecutions and fines that have hit the headlines over the past few years.

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