About the Author

Ken Cole
SPS Consultancy

Ken Cole has worked in senior positions in both the public and private sectors and was one of the founding Directors of SPS in 2001. He recently completed a three year secondment as Director of the London Centre of Excellence. Ken has thrilled many public and private audiences with his incisive analysis, robust delivery and his belief in 'telling it as it is'. His blog is a regular commentary of the improvement and efficiency agenda.

Make sure you pay a frequent visit to find out Ken's latest thoughts on the workings of government, the latest policy initiatives and much more...

Recent Blog Posts...

Hijacking Procurement
Ken Cole
Mar 25, 2013
Mr Pickles uses the 'P word'.
Ken Cole
Mar 07, 2013
Haringey Leads London
Ken Cole
Feb 14, 2013
Time to rethink Supplier Evaluation
Ken Cole
Aug 30, 2012
Smoke and Mirrors in Whitehall!
Ken Cole
Jul 12, 2012
Collaboration at its best
Ken Cole
May 25, 2012
Latest Procurement Card Scare
Ken Cole
Mar 21, 2012
iESE - a model for a Big Society?
Ken Cole
Mar 06, 2012
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
Ken Cole
Feb 03, 2012

Contract Management - Another area for improvement

Dec 22, 2008

Last week saw the publication of a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) on the alleged deficiencies in central government service contracts. To download a copy click here. The content of the report can be summed up nicely from a sentence in the Press Release which said; "better contract management could potentially generate estimated savings of between £160 million and £290 million a year, across total annual expenditure on service contracts of around £12 billion". The findings of this review are very similar from one carried out in London by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) in 2006 which found similar shortfalls in local government. Again, a copy can be downloaded from the SPS site here.

For seasoned practitioners, none of this is new. Too many contracts are badly planned, with the objective being to let the contract in the quickest possible time that regulations allow. After the contract is let, then for many, contract management is about ringing up the contractor when things go wrong. Relationship Management hardly ever gets a look in, except for one or two exemplary individuals that have realised that there is much to be had from not only ensuring the contract is executed, but that wherever possible standards are exceeded and cost overspills minimised.

Hopefully, 2009 will see contract managers from diverse organisations, who are using the same suppliers, actually meeting, networking and comparing information and exchanging knowledge. Usually the challenges facing different organisations have much in common, and it is neither in the client organisation's interests nor the contractors to have to find multiple solutions to the same problem. If they do, then guess who ends up paying?

Thank you to the hundreds of readers of this blog. Do feel free to comment on the stories rather than just view them. So that is it for 2008. May I wish you a Happy Christmas and great New Year!


Good Article.    IF you were to point one major difference between public and private proc, what would it be..
08/09/2010 18:28

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