Compliance / Legal

Procurement needs less processes - as they are slow, boring and self-centred

Sammeli_Sammalkorpi.jpgBy Sammeli Sammalkorpi

During the past few months, I have discussed with a number of chief procurement officers (CPOs) how they have managed procurement during COVID-19. One recurring answer was along the lines of 'we broke all of our processes and went into wild-west-mode'. Now, many said this with an interesting combination of sadness and pride. Sadness that they had to give away great processes perceived to be the basis of any professional procurement organisation. Pride and excitement at how procurement teams were able to improvise, work hard and survive.

How can Procurement best align with Finance right now? A CFO perspective

AlignProcurementAndFinance_150.jpgRight now, as the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on jobs, consumer spending and the global economy, many businesses are scrambling to adjust to a new financial reality. They are also coming to terms with the fact that the path to recovery remains long and mostly uncertain. Experts, including Deloitte, predict that the United States (US) economy will not bounce back until mid-2021. The Bank of England is anticipating slower recovery, as late as the end of 2021, for the United Kingdom (UK).

Within organisations, the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO) voice is one of the most critical during a crisis. But contributing directly to a firm's financial resilience is the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), who has a strategic role in leading a firm through the tough times ahead.

Spend Matters spoke with a CFO who has many years of experience across corporate finance and public accounting, and is currently the CFO of spend management firm Jaggaer. Spend Matters asked Jeff Laborde how he sees Procurement and Finance best working together to drive benefits across a business, given their natural overlap in priorities and responsibilities.

SMME Clinic | Financial compliance for small business is the key to support - Session 21

SMME Clinic interviews Annie McWalter, Managing Director of SAICA ED and the Hope Factory, who shares great insight into how the COVID pandemic has shown the importance of compliance for SMMEs.

Rules vs. discretion in public procurement

EricaBosio_90.jpgBy Erica Bosio, Programme Manager: Growth Analytics, Development Economics Vice Presidency, World Bank

The trade-off between rules and discretion has been a central topic of research in public procurement. Kelman's (1990) early work stressed the costs of rigid regulation in United States government procurement and made the case for discretion. Since then, research on the benefits of discretion has progressed rapidly in Europe. New research confirms that politicians do not trust the bureaucracy, even in countries with high human capital and efficient institutions.

My new paper (joint with Simeon Djankov at the London School of Economics and Professors Ed Glaeser and Andrei Shleifer at Harvard) adds to these studies with a broader geographic and theoretical focus. We cover 187 countries and the complete path of the procurement process.

The theory delivers a basic prediction: that procurement regulation is more valuable when the incentives of the bureaucrats are not closely aligned with support for social welfare. Properly motivated bureaucrats require fewer rules. Countries with weak bureaucracies need strict laws to regulate them; countries with strong bureaucracies can allow the regulator more discretion.

Face protection masks could inject at least US$1.5-billion annually into the African economy

DouglasBoateng_100.jpgOn 27 June 2020, MarketWatch reported that the global disposable face mask market size was anticipated to reach US$23.81-billion by 2027.

On 30 June, Goldman Sachs released an extensive economic analysis of why the wearing of a face mask is a must. By studying the link between coronavirus infections and mask mandates in US states and overseas, the reputable global investment bank estimated a national directive could cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by one percentage point to just 0.6%.

According to the bank, the reduction could prevent the need for lockdowns that could wipe 5% off of US gross domestic product (GDP). The implications of not wearing a mask and the associated health and socio-economic consequences are no different in emerging and developing economies. The coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and associated COVID-19 pandemic has, however, resulted in the emergence of a face protection mask (FPM) industry.

In Africa, this rapidly-evolving sector could contribute approximately US$1.5-billion annually to the continent's economy. This is according to supply chain and industrialisation expert, Prof Douglas Boateng.

Which region regulates procurement the most?

Regulating_procurement_100.jpgBy Marko Grujicic, Analyst, Growth Analytics;
Joseph Lemoine, Analyst - Growth Analytics, Development Economics Vice Presidency; and
Greta Polo, Private Sector Development Analyst, World Bank

It might be assumed that public procurement is most heavily regulated in high-income countries, given that they have greater public sector capacity, more efficient institutions and longer traditions of regulation. This assumption is further supported by the fact that weaker institutions, informality and business activities outside of the scope of law are prevalent among low- and middle-income countries.

However, an analysis by the World Bank shows that this assumption is not true: high-income countries regulate public procurement less than low- and middle-income countries do.

Oxymoron: Ethical policies and public procurement?

StephenBauld_100.jpgWe would all agree that government procurement should be held to the highest level of ethical standards.

It is very important to the entire system that everyone working with or for a municipality be of the same mind set. The whole idea of the importance of adherence to an appropriate standard of ethics in the conduct of the procurement function is self-evident.

Yet in historic terms, concern with respect to ethics is a fairly recent phenomenon, particularly at the local government level, says Stephen Bauld, a government procurement expert.

Corruption and collusion: lessons from Africa

ElainePorteous_100.jpgBy Elaine Porteous

Corruption is not unique to Africa, nor is it a new problem. However, Africa is perceived as the most corrupt region in the world as well as the most under-developed. Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. There is no simple solution. There have been numerous academic studies and notable interventions by such institutions as the World Bank, the United Nations and the Norwegian Government, but progress remains agonisingly slow.

The power of procurement: an Australian perspective

JeniChristensen_100.jpgBy Jeni Christensen (MCIPS), Procurement Manager in Melbourne, Australia, for Villa Maria Catholic Homes, a not-for-profit organisation linked to the Catholic Church.

2019 has been a productive year for procurement with the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act of 2018 (the Act) being passed by the Australian Parliament on 29 November 2018 and entered into force on 01 January 2019. The Act established a national modern slavery reporting requirement for large businesses (> AU$100-million in revenue) and other entities doing business in the Australian market over the same threshold.

There is some great work being done but there is still a huge amount to do to eradicate modern slavery within Australia and, indeed, globally. The key is to educate ourselves, our suppliers, staff and business contacts on what this means, why this is important, how they can help and what we are looking for.

What is the true cost of unethical conduct?

XavierGreyling.jpg'Procurement irregularities' has taken 3rd place on Corruption Watch SA's Corruption Report 2017 (CRW2017). Coming in at 12% of the reported types of corruption, procurement irregularities trails bribery as the most common form of reported corruption (27% of cases).

However, CRW2017 does not define 'procurement irregularities', which caused Xavier Greyling (MCIPS) to question if procurement irregularities do in fact account for only 12% of the reported cases, and, faced with the possibility of a far higher figure - what role does procurement play in what is lost to corruption every day?

Influence of procurement departments on marketers

 

JohannaMcDowell.jpgAgencies working – or hoping to work – on major corporate accounts in the advertising, marketing and communications industry can no longer ignore or misunderstand procurement departments and their importance in winning both government and corporate clients.

Johanna McDowell, Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) managing director, warns that the B-BBEE Amended Codes of Good Practice released by the Minister of Trade and Industry in mid 2016 are designed to ensure that procurement is taken seriously by companies that intend to survive, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

Gauteng uplifting SMMEs through procurement

 

MEC_BarbaraCreecy_SPW.jpgRecent studies by Stats SA indicate that the face of poverty in South Africa remains black, female and that of children below the age of 17. Furthermore, more than one in every two SA citizens can be officially classified as poor, said Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy at the Smart Procurement World conference in Johannesburg.

“[Stats SA’s] Poverty Trends Report shows that by 2015, approximately 33% of Gauteng’s citizens were living in poverty. Although this is lower than most of the country, it is not a cause for celebration. One in three Gautengers go to bed without a meal. The situation was further worsened by the province losing 146 000 jobs during the last financial quarter,” said MEC Creecy.

The most direct and effective route to address these socio-economic challenges is a programme of transformation, modernisation and re-industrialisation. Gauteng’s provincial government is currently implementing such a programme in partnership with the private sector, organised labour and civil society, said MEC Creecy.

When does labour become a commodity to be procured?

 

Commoditised_Labour.jpg

Mluleki Ntlemeza, a supply chain consultant wonders if there is point at which labour should be procured by procurement, and not through traditional HR processes, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

What if procurement savings didn't matter?

Madeleine_Tewes.jpgMost say that savings are just one component of this value proposition and that we need to look outside of savings into other areas of value, like stimulating innovation, supporting the organisation’s corporate social responsibility goals and reducing risk throughout the supply chain. Everyone agrees with these articles and, as we map out KPIs for our procurement department or individuals, we ensure savings is just one, albeit important, metric that their value will be evaluated on.

What happens, though, when you remove the value of savings altogether from a procurement department and its individual members? Even from the offerings of procurement consultancies that often focus on savings as a way of convincing CPOs to accept their services? asks Madeleine Tewes, Project Manager.

Cost-cutting drive has pitted Treasury against government departments

 

Ralph_Mathekga_.jpgTreasury’s cost-cutting drive has pitted it against other government departments.

Chief Procurement Officer Kenneth Brown has drawn criticism from politicians who are unhappy with his investigations of procurement, said Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst at the Johannesburg-based research group, the Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection.

In September the Treasury said it rejected a request from Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba for his staff to fly in business-class seats and it turned down appeals from state power utility Eskom for company credit cards.

Open tender process shines light on procurement

 

tenders.jpgThe Gauteng provincial government (GPG) hosted its first open tender seminar showcasing the progress the province has made in rolling out its open tender project over the past two years. The event was also aimed at encouraging other provincial governments and municipalities to adopt the process.

 “We took the decision in 2014 that it was imperative to find ways to restore confidence in the public procurement process,” said finance MEC Barbara Creecy, who was the programme director for the day.

It is vital that citizens see how their money is being spent, said finance minister Pravin Gordhan, delivering the keynote speech at the seminar.

"We need to ensure that we get value for money from the taxes of the public and the borrowings we make on that money. I congratulate GPG on its determination to make procurement more transparent. The greater the spotlight that shines on procurement, the better.”

ZUMA - Major BEE procurement shake-up

 

JacobZuma.jpgThe government’s procurement policy will be overhauled in a bid to support black and small businesses, said President Jacob Zuma.

”The buying power of the state is a powerful economic tool. It can and must be used to advance black economic empowerment, ” said Zuma, speaking at a Black Business Council dinner in September.

Failed supply chain policies led to Eskom's Tegeta payments - Corruption Watch

 

BenNgubane.pngEskom failed to follow its own supply chain policies, the PFMA and Section 217 of the Constitution when making pre-payments to the Gupta’s Tegeta exploration and resources to secure coal supply, said Corruption Watch in a statement.

“We are concerned about the nature and scale of procurement irregularities at Eskom,” said Corruption Watch’s executive director, David Lewis.


 

 

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