National Procurement Awards Ceremony Report

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
Report by Richard Northcote, Head of Partnerships, at PROACTIS:

Friday 20th March 2015 saw the third annual Welsh National Procurement Awards held at Cardiff City Hall, and I couldn’t resist attending and seeing deserving PROACTIS clients being presented with more awards this year. These awards are aimed at recognising and rewarding excellence in public procurement and tendering practises that have benefitted Wales and its citizens. 

The 10 prestigious award categories were:

  1. Innovation through Procurement Award
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility Award
  3. E-Procurement Award
  4. Supplier Of The Year Award
  5. Most Progressive Public Procurement Organisation Award
  1. Most Improved Supplier In Tendering Award
  2. Young Professional Of The Year Award
  3. Procurement Collaboration Award
  4. Community Benefits Award
  5. Outstanding Contribution To Procurement Award

This year, the focus of my attention was on Cardiff City Council (shortlisted in Innovation through Procurement Award, E-Procurement Award, Most Progressive Public Procurement Organisation Award, and Outstanding Contribution to Procurement Award), Caerphilly County Borough Council shortlisted in (Innovation through Procurement Award and Outstanding Contribution to Procurement Award) and Wrexham Council (shortlisted in Most Progressive Public Procurement Organisation Award).

Considering the progress these Councils have made on automating and transforming their procurement processes over the years, I was sure we were going to have a lively battle on our hands!

Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance and Government Business at the Welsh Government, opened the evening: She was delighted to support the Welsh National Procurement Awards 2015, following the success of last year’s event, also held at City Hall, Cardiff. The Welsh National Procurement Awards Dinner was a perfect showcase for recognising and rewarding individuals and teams who are the most innovative, drive public procurement progress, influence change, implement procurement policy in a way that delivers real environmental, social and economic benefits for Wales, and are suppliers supplying innovative goods or services to the public sector (This was already sounding like a potential clean sweep of awards for PROACTIS clients!). She said the awards evening was the opportunity for all those who buy for, and supply, the Welsh public sector to show what best practice really is so we can celebrate achievements and thank those who have made a contribution to the well-being of Wales.

The evening then turned to the awards as representatives from winning Councils took to the stage to pick-up their awards: Caerphilly County Borough Council won the Outstanding Contribution to Procurement Award category. Caerphilly Procurement Team has challenged every aspect of how it does business, delivering change through innovation with Best in Class applications of ICT, organisation structure and staff training. Their “change programme” has been in place for 10 years, recognised in 2009 with Excellence Wales status.  Since 2009, the function has grown in stature and delivered results.  The team have awards for SME Development, sustainability, organisation change.  This year they have been shortlisted for the prestigious “Go Awards.”

Creativity in use of technology, learning, supply chain management has helped create an integrated approach.  Welsh Government policy and strategy at the heart of what they do, including social and economic development and sustainability. With the motto that “Procurement can change the world”, they have taken a traditional paper based function to a lean, focussed driven technology based strategic enabling body.
The team is structured into 3 discrete areas Procurement, Supplier Relationship and Administration (including eProcurement) and consists of 18 Full Time Equivalent (FTE). All FTE procurement officers are fully MCIPS qualified, 3 to MSc level.
Never to let a photo opportunity go amiss, here I am with Team Caerphilly at the awards:


The feedback from the judging panel was this submission was a really good example of a progressive organisation with drive, determination and the motivation to improve service delivery for the benefit of their communities. The examples of best practice provided could be lifted into any procurement organisation to raise the bar and elevate procurement from the back office to the top table for decision making.
Cardiff City Council won the Innovation through Procurement Award category
The City of Cardiff Council spends more than £20 million each year with the independent sector on the provision of Domiciliary Care – this equates to 35,000 hours of care each week.  The Council had previously awarded a framework to 11 providers in 2010, however, a member-led “fairer deal” taskforce review in 2013 determined the council did not want to let another “restrictive” framework or block contract.
In response, in November 2014, the Council launched an Accredited Provider List (APL) supported by web-based technology.  The APL works like a Dynamic Purchasing System but does not issue Contract Notices for each opportunity and uses provider performance and delivery of outcomes as part of the award criteria for care packages. A cross-functional project team was established comprising of staff from the Health and Social Care Directorate, Commissioning and Procurement; as well as support from colleagues in Finance and Legal.
Again, another photo opportunity! Here I am with Team Cardiff at the awards:


The feedback from the judging panel was this is a very good project and the nominee should be congratulated on excellent innovation in the procurement function.  The project shows how cost effectiveness and high quality can go hand-in-hand with careful design.  What is also noteworthy is the integrated approach exhibited by this project, which effectively integrates the various phases of the procurement function in a manner that results in reinforcement between the phases.

What a great evening. I wish all participants a good 12 months ahead, and hope for an even larger ‘sweep’ of awards by PROACTIS clients in 2016!

Get in
an event