Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Bangor Law School’s Institute for Competition & Procurement Studies nominated for two prestigious Impact Awards

Bangor University Law School’s Institute for Competition & Procurement Studies (ICPS) has once again been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious Bangor University Impact and Innovation Awards. In 2014, ICPS was singled out for not one, but two awards:

  • “Best Business Impact” (the ICPS Tender Review Service) and;
  • “Best Impact on Public Policy” (the Barriers to Procurement Opportunity report).

The Tender Review Service (TRS) was pioneered by the Law School’s Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies under Professor Dermot Cahill and Ceri Evans, The ICPS team with the Vice Chancellor of Bangor University, Professor John HughesThe ICPS team with the Vice Chancellor of Bangor University, Professor John Hughesfollowing a report which demonstrated that public procurer tender feedback was not meaningful enough.  The TRS fills this gap by taking suppliers on a transformative learning journey; enabling them to see through the procurer’s eyes and to identify definitive means of optimising future submissions.

An independent evaluation of the TRS identified widespread evidence of TRS impact, with many small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) having doubled their win-rates from a year earlier.  Companies who have benefited from the service have gone on to win Welsh National Procurement Awards in successive years. The service has been so successful that the Canadian Government are in the process of adopting the methodology for their SMEs and the Welsh Government are aiming to include it as part of their tendering support portfolio.

Gunther Kostyra, Value Wales (Welsh Government) said of the service: “The report suppliers receive from the TRS is an incredibly useful piece of work for SMEs who seriously want to improve their bids”. Ian Price, Assistant Director of the CBI also echoed these comments: “The TRS has proved instrumental in allowing scores of our members to overcome poor feedback practices and to improve tender win-rates”.

Ceri Evans of Bangor’s ICPS observes: “The TRS has proven to be a game-changer for many of the SMEs that we have worked with, helping these businesses to not only sustain their operations, but also to grow and employ more staff”.

Bangor Law School’s work has also gained recognition in the University’s Impact Awards in improving the transparency of the tendering process via the Barriers to Procurement Opportunity research. This work also involved ground-breaking research into the legal and risk barriers that caused blockages in the public tendering system and proposed mechanisms to make the tendering process more accessible and effective, removing unnecessary barriers that previously prevented smaller sized companies tendering successfully.

The Barriers to Procurement Opportunity Research was conducted by ICPS’s Professor Dermot Cahill, Ceri Evans and Gary Clifford. In 2013, Ian Price, the CBI’s Assistant Director for Wales stated: “The Barriers research is the best piece of research into public procurement in Wales in modern times, identifying significant evidence of widespread duplication of common data requirements and disproportionate use of inappropriate risk thresholds in public tendering”.

John McClelland, CBE, is similarly enthusiastic about the research: “The [Bangor] research was outstanding. It has been seminal in launching initiatives capable of transforming access suppliers have to public tendering opportunities”.  Subsequent to the McClelland review, in December 2012, Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance, mandated all 16 recommendations of the Barriers report via the Welsh Public Procurement Policy Statement.

Prof. Dermot Cahill commented: “It is a privilege to be able to take academic research and adapt it to maximise the impact of the Welsh Pound, grow employment and help Welsh businesses win more public sector contracts”.

Publication date: 25 July 2014