Meeting the Cabinet Office
On Monday 19th June, the FPS Environmental team were fortunate enough to meet with Martin Traynor OBE, the Small Business Crown Representative for the Cabinet Office. This was to discuss public sector procurement issues and how we could work together to improve things for not just small businesses, but also the country.
The meeting was as a result of our Director, Simon Crowther, writing an Open Letter to the Secretary of State after the Environment Agency discontinued the procurement process for the eagerly awaited £50m Property Flood Resilience Framework. Whilst now reissued, the decision to discontinue incurred large costs to business, the taxpayer, and resulted in associated delays.
The Cabinet Office contacted us to arrange a meeting, with the aim of discussing how procurement processes could be improved.
There were two main areas discussed which we welcome:
- Lengthy frameworks will be required to have annual openings for new entrants, such that investment isn’t stifled, and innovation is encouraged.
- ‘Tell us Once’. This strategy would aim to reduce the burden on business, but only requiring businesses to inform the procuring body of relevant information once. Therefore, in an instance such as the recent Framework withdrawal and re-issue, the onus would be on the Environment Agency to utilise technology to autofill any questions which were the same, only requiring the businesses to answer anything new or outstanding. At present this is not the case, as the process has been restarted, however it is the responsibility of the private sector to review the changes, conduct all the associated works once more, and re-bid – incurring large costs.
As the business, environmental and technological playing field continues to adapt, we support improvements in procurement. As a business we always aim to deliver the highest quality of work, at the best value, alongside championing the industry.