Moving to

I'm moving to Mostly.

I plan to use that site as a "self-marketing website" of sorts and to manage content in a way that I would otherwise not be able to do on blogger alone.

This blog will stay, ostensibly for more provisional ideas prior to refinement. I'll be gradually moving content (I still like) over to the other website. =)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Decent Procurement Processes are not Complicated

It bewilders me when I hear that Government procurement officers are not familiar with Government procurement rules. From para. 16 of this report to parliament in April this year:
    ... MOF attributed most of the procurement irregularities reported by the Auditor-General in the past five years to procurement officers' poor understanding of procurement principles and/or their lack of familiarity with procurement rules...
Decent procurement processes are not very complicated. Consider the following:
  1. Establish business requirements.
  2. Do a market survey to establish if requirements are achievable within budget or cost effectively. Go to (1), and iterate until satisfied.
  3. Whether one holds a public tender or asks for quotations from a few sources, it is important to clarify offers and negotiate. In the process of negotiation, it is important not to reveal other offers, but to get the best offer the bidder has to give. In this process, it is important to understand market norms such as typical bulk discounts.
  4. Award to the bidder that meets the business requirements and promises the best value for money.
Granted it can be onerous when procurement is not one's only responsibility. But it is not a very complicated process to comprehend, is it? If one's workload is too heavy, it is up to one to talk to one's supervisor about what can be done (the important bits) and get him/her to give the ok for anything omitted, or get the ok for letting the schedule side a bit.

Long story short, all procurement officers have to understand is that they have to get the best value for money in a manner that is fair and uncorrupt. The latter, procurement officers are quite familiar with. The former, probably not so. Value for money means knowing what one's budget can buy and trying to stretch the public dollar. It is that simple.

Finally, a simple guideline. If a typical member of the public can get a better deal on a smaller or similar sized purchase, something is wrong.


Anonymous said...

Their understanding is best demonstrated by the $2200 brompton bikes.

convexset said...

That purchase was highly suspicious:

If I were auditing that purchase, questions would be asked.