A Modern Dilemma: Matching Procurement Practice to Policy

Host: David Wells 

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The recent global Covid-19 pandemic has brought about new challenges for professionals from all disciplines. This has, of course, included considerable pressures on the health sector but has also highlighted a range of related challenges, including:

  • The need to maintain essential services
  • Continuity of supply for essential products
  • Managing the supply chain, sometimes with the loss of established suppliers
  • Procuring supplies at short notice
  • Supplier cash flow demands
  • Managing the tensions between urgent service delivery needs and traditional policies, especially when previously untried suppliers are used for sourcing at short notice.

Even without the unusual pressures of a pandemic, procurement professionals and service managers have to make sound purchasing decisions and have clear procurement and contract planning procedures. These are crucial not just for delivering effective services and achieving end outcomes, but are also key in terms of:

  • The overall procurement process
  • Legislative and regulatory compliance
  • Demonstrating how effective procurement is essential for continuity of supply of goods and services
  • Supporting organisational policies by, for example, procuring sustainable goods and services and tracking this through the supply chain.

For many policy makers and procurement professionals, the establishment and maintenance of an effective process for taking procurement decisions is an important piece in the management jigsaw. Successful procurement, as well as good supplier and supply chain management, are a powerful combination in delivering services to the public, in line with organisational objectives.

This webinar will examine all these issues. Our presenter will be David Wells. David leads PAI’s regular Successful Procurement in the 21st Century professional development workshop, which is planned to take place in Dubai (7-11 June 2021) and in London (25 October–5 November 2021).

David is a procurement specialist and a member of The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and has a finance and procurement background with over 40 years’ experience working in local government, over 30 years of which were in management roles. During this time, he was the Head of Finance in the Technical Services Department at Barking and Dagenham Borough Council in London with responsibility for managing an annual capital and revenue budget totalling around £50 millions including direct control of the department’s procurement and contracting team.

He later headed up a corporate team in the Chief Executive’s Department, with overall responsibilities for the competitive tendering and contracting process across the authority, subsequently moving to the Finance Directorate and project-managed the installation of a replacement IT system for the Borough’s financial, personnel and payroll functions. Latterly he became Assistant Director and oversaw the management of payroll, pensions, human resources, accounts, IT development, secretariat and departmental procurement, policy and administration.

More recently David has worked as a public sector adviser, supporting UK central and local government, focusing on financial and budget management, contracting and contract management, including work with the health sector. He has many years’ experience of designing and delivering workshops and study programmes in the UK and overseas, covering a range of topics.