Colin Cram’s 5 Recommendations for a Successful Government Procurement Contest

Similar to the Coles Notes or, the . . . For Dummies series of books, 30 year plus UK public sector veteran Colin Cram has, as a lead in to our October interview on the PI Window on Blog Talk Radio, provided his five recommendations for a successful procurement contest initiative.

For those who may not be familiar with the concept, I recently published the 3-Part Procurement Contests Review series that you can access through the provided link. It is a pretty interesting read as I have been told, and it should provide a solid foundation in terms of understanding the primary aspects of a very interesting approach to leveraging the procurement process to drive innovation within the public sector.

All this being said Cram’s key points relative to maximizing the opportunity for success are indeed worth noting . . . at least this is my opinion.

Why don’t you have a look and get back to me with your thoughts?

Colin Cram’s 5 Recommendations for a Successful Procurement Contest:

1. I can see nothing wrong in principle. The government announces the prize at the outset, so participants know how much money they will receive.

2. There needs to be an agreement that the government will use the specification – turning it into a rather more generic one – to invite bids to supply. So the prize-winner may not win a contract that stems from it.

3. It enables the government to find out if the problem can be solved.

4. It does not necessarily mean that companies are subsidising the government. They don’t have to go in for the competition. The downside might be that the government has to offer a prize that is greater than it might otherwise pay. Alternatively, it limits its financial risk.

5. The risk is that significant competition is avoided, though it should be evident if only a couple of suppliers choose to go in for the competition. So there need to be some safeguards so the government can demonstrate probity and genuine competition.

I will be posting the date and time of the Colin Cram interview that will air on the PI Window both here and in the Procurement Insights Blog Portal, where you can tune in to the LIVE or on-demand broadcast.


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