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back to article Police procurement deal means cops pay more

West Midlands Police Authority has cast doubts on Home Office claims about the savings offered by the controversial Sprint ii IT procurement framework and plans to minimise its use. All forces in England and Wales were mandated by government in March to buy commodity hardware and software via Sprint ii – a pan-public sector …

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Ru
Headmaster

"A mandation is never a popular decision"

Quite so. I'd suggestion also that US grammatisation is also likely to be less than popular on this side of the pond. Studying at the school of Palin is best reserved for Tea Party service, hmm?

Unless of course it was lousy transcribation by the Reg, of course?

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Cheaper bulk purchasing

A single supplier should be able to offer cheaper prices than anyone else, due to bulk purchasing. At the very least, they should offer to refund the difference, if items can be found cheaper elsewhere, or double the difference, if they need an incentive to do so.

If they can't offer this simple and obvious guarantee, they contract should be given to a company who can, and I am sure there are many who would like to be given the opportunity to do so.

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FAIL

Procurement Company

The Home Secretary has already made a veiled snipe at the NPIA about this silly contract. She must have been rather embarrassed to see this get pushed through under her nose, especially given the numerous reports of it doing exactly the opposite of what it was designed to do - i.e. save money.

In a few months’ time, this framework will vanish (as will the NPIA in its current form).

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Childcatcher

Competition

Actually what you find is that going single source is a great idea in theory, as you get to cut the admin costs, but in practice you are then locked into a single company that suddenly loses the will to be competitive. It doesn't matter who you pick, it always happens.

Thus forcing companies to beg for each contract, keeps them competitive. Of course this could also be a destructive process, depending on what industry you are in. The other problem, is that only big companies can compete (the most dishonest ones usually too!) as the small ones can only go for small local contracts not the big central ones. That is why Parliament committees are now telling the Government to give up on the big central white elephants and to let smaller companies in at the local level.

The central contract should only be there as an enabler to allow police forces to know how to run a competition and secure the quality of service they need. The actual buying of stuff should be competed and not given to the central contractor.

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Facepalm

Cheaper bulk purchasing *done right* does not mean putting your balls in a single suppliers' grasp.

>"A single supplier should be able to offer cheaper prices than anyone else, due to bulk purchasing."

The supplier itself will be able to get better prices, owing to the size of the orders it is fulfulling for its customer (the Police), but there is no reason why it would feel obliged to pass those savings on when it has a monopoly.

In order for the public sector to receive the benefits of bulk purchasing power, it would have to be the public sector actually DOING that bulk purchasing itself. The fact that it is not being done in-house but has been hived off to some private company that acts only in the interests of its own profit is just typical of the moronic dunder-headed utterly blind and non-evidence-based adherence to free market / privatisation / Washington consensus economic dogma without regard to facts or the least awareness of consequences that infests our political classes with its simple minded thinking. Some things are best done en masse, but that seems too much like "nationalisation" to the airheads in Whitehall, so they instead create a stupid artificial monopoly and hand all the potential savings over to a private company instead of getting those savings for the public body in question. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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Stop

Godam right

" single source is a great idea in theory, as you get to cut the admin costs...."

and doesn't just happen with Government contracts either. Exactly what is happening to our Company as well. Procurement Dept insist they 'have' to lay contracts with Approved Suppliers. That is, of course, code for need not bothering going to three suppliers for best quote and lowered admin fees. We have even got to the point of having to buy components through third parties who charge an admin fee and add to delivery times

What this means is that Projects are running late and going overspent, but that is all right because our Procurement Dept are running at minimum admin costs.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Thales

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Yag
Pint

Cheers mate!

I'm currently working at THAV myself, and i'm often horrified by the awful mismanagement around there. One day they are talking about layoffs, the next day about 2/8 schedules to keep some insane schedules pulled out of the higher management's head...

I'm pretty sure only one won't be enough...

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FAIL

Yep

The findings by the police forces concerned confirm what those of us in other police forces already know.

12% may well be the ball park, but there's cases where it's more than that...when you're talking about top-end network equipment, that's a difference of thousands per item.

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Paris Hilton

Only 13%?

Sounds like a steal compared to the usual government IT contracts.

Paris, for she too has experience with bargains.

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Unhappy

How it was ever going to save money

I've just deleted all I'd written in fear of a reprimand but I can say.

AV deal from SCC for a number of extra server licences cost my 'force' 10-20% more than going direct to the supplier and to add insult to injury SCC could only supply invidual licences (boxed product) rather than additonal enterprise licences that we could add to our enterprise console.

One example of many. I thought it was mad when we could only go to 'approved' suppliers now we can only go to one. I've yet to order anything I couldn't have get cheaper from dabs.com or direct from the supplier.

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Gold badge
Joke

Police on the receiving end of an extortion racket.

That is all.

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Alert

Lets see then??

It seems as though there are a couple of other concerned force employees posting on here. It would be interesting to see which other forces have come to the same conclusion regarding the additional 10-12% uplift on prices.

Some form benchmarking exercise would no doubt be useful. Funding for Police IT spend has been hit very hard and this story makes it glaringly obvious that a bad decision has been made with this Sprint ii framework mandate.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

-1 << imaginary title

Does anyone REALLY need a study or survey to work out that one single mandatory source will rapidly become the most expensive option possible.

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Silver badge
Facepalm

Bean-counters paradox

The numbers state that is SHOULD be cheaper.

But it NEVER is.

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Bronze badge

Who'd have thought it?!?!

Saw the same effect when I worked for the NSW state government - suppliers not only don't see the point in being competitive, but they quickly work out how to rip the government off.

We had mono laser printers with prices near double the RRP. Only advantage was a 4 year warranty. For one round of printers, I actually found an online price 1/3 of the special government price.... Even if one died outside the 1 year warranty, we'd still have had double the printers over the special prices.

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