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
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Mar 07, 2013
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Collaboration at its best
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Mar 06, 2012
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
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Feb 03, 2012

The Art of the Possible

Apr 01, 2009


Yesterday was the one of the largest, if not the largest, public sector e-Auction ever held. Over £47m of kit from 44 organisations was fought for by ten bidders for the best part of five hours. This was the Office of Government Commerce's (OGC) e-Auction 10.

While e-Auctions are quite a common occurrence, this one was an amazing example of what is possible. Firstly, it was cross sector  initiative involving local government, NHS Trusts, and even central government. This in itself was an achievement! However, it is the fact that so many organisations agreed to standard specifications, a standard bid evaluation with weightings, and to work together to make things happen that proved the ultimate accolade.

Only a couple of years ago I was given all kinds of idiotic reasons by IT departments for not taking part. Tick your favourite from "our laptops are different to what any one else buys", "they need to have a certain chip in them", "our standing orders don't allow us to collaborate". There are many others which were seen as a valid excuse to do nothing.

Yesterday's results show what can be done with the right attitude, right people and a will to succeed. Also, the outcomes achieved, which will soon be published on this website when finalised and in the public domain, are far better than what any one organisation, public sector or private outsourcer, could achieve working on their own.


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