Inaugural Awards to Reward Excellence in Welsh Public Procurement

The recent confirmation by Minister Jane Hutt AM, that the Value of Welsh public sector contracts won by Welsh based business has increased in recent years from 37% to 51%, provides an excellent backdrop to the holding of the first ever Welsh National Procurement Awards in Llandudno this month.

In collaboration with the Welsh Government, Bangor University’s Institution of Competition & Procurement Studies (ICPS) has been invited to host the Inaugural Welsh National Procurement Awards, will take place in the Deganwy Quay Hotel, Llandudno on Friday 22nd March.

Welsh public bodies spend around £4.3 billion annually on servicing the people of Wales, and each year thousands of contracts are awarded to organisations to perform a multitude of services and/or deliver a plethora of products just to ensure the Welsh economy ticks over, let alone grow or prosper. Welsh Government and Public Commissioners recognise that public procurement has the ability to generate significant wider benefits for Wales and Welsh society in general. Therefore, the Awards have been designed to capture, recognise, reward and celebrate excellence in the field of procurement through identifying innovative policies, practices and/or procedures of those organisations delivering excellence.

Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Leader of the House: “I am delighted to support the Inaugural Welsh National Procurement Awards 2013. The Awards provides the perfect showcase for recognising and rewarding those leaders and teams who; are the most innovative, drive public procurement progress, influence change, and, implement procurement policy in a way that delivers real environmental, social and economic benefits for Wales”.

The Minister continued by adding “This awards evening is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of work carried out by those who buy for, and supply, the Welsh public sector. It will allow us to celebrate achievements of those buyers and suppliers who continue to perform and drive innovation linked to public procurement.”

In the week leading up to the Welsh National Procurement Awards, the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies (ICPS) at Bangor University is holding its Annual ‘Procurement Week 2013’, a prestigious training conference that is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ireland Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A). Procurement Week is a week long event that attracts guest speakers from all around the world, this year sixteen countries are represented and individuals from Canada, USA, China, India, Russia, Denmark and Sweden are scheduled to attend. This year Procurement Week will explore five themes; Changing Procurement Policy with Better Research, Practical Tendering, Winning Contract Opportunities Abroad, Procurement Innovation and Public Procurement Law: Emerging Legal Practice and Changing Patterns. To conclude the week, the Welsh National Procurement Awards will act as the finale of Procurement Week. Ten Awards will be presented to individuals, companies and organisations that will confirm their status as excellent leaders and practitioners.

Professor Dermot Cahill of the School of Law at Bangor University and Chairman of the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Inaugural Welsh National Procurement Awards and we do so in in partnership with the Welsh Government. We believe it is vital for the Welsh economy that Welsh businesses are recognised for the excellent services and products their organisations provide to the Welsh public sector, and by extension to the Welsh citizenry. More importantly, and part of our collective mission, we are using these Awards to elevate those leaders to a position where that can be seen outside Wales. We aim to promote the winners on an International stage and help them win International opportunities. As exemplars, we hope the Award winners will be better recognised as procurement innovators, and in turn be in an improved position to bring revenue back into Wales, by winning those elusive contracts abroad – this is the real economic driver, and at the Institute for Competition and Procurement Studies at Bangor University we are delighted to play our part in helping Wales boost its wealth and jobs”.

Procurement expert and Procurement Week Keynote Speaker, John McClelland whose recent report, Maximising the Importance of Welsh Procurement Policy has been adopted by the Welsh Government, said: “Originating and conducting an Awards Programme allows organisations in Wales to demonstrate their own commitment to and implementation of best practice. The competitive aspect combined with the celebration of success is a stimulant for improvement amongst the procurement community.”

Ian Forrester Mowatt, interim Director of the North Wales Procurement Partnership, a local government consortium, is supporting the Energy Island Programme in preparing and helping local businesses to be as competitive as possible in bidding for contracts.  He said: "The Awards recognise the role and contribution that procurement by public bodies in Wales makes to key areas of economic activity. The Awards will raise the profile and study of procurement Professionalism in Wales and provide an excellent platform from which to develop further."

Some key dates for your diary; Procurement Week 2013 will be held in Bangor University between the 18th and 22nd March. The Welsh National Procurement Awards will take place on the evening of the 22nd March at 6.30pm in the Deganwy Quay, Llandudno.

More information about both the ‘Awards’ and ‘Procurement Week 2013’ can be found at: www.welshprocurementawards.org.uk or www.icps.bangor.ac.uk.

Please click to view the "Wales - buying its way to a strong economy" Press Release.

Publication date: 14 March 2013