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Raj Sharma, founder of Public Spend Forum (PSF), is in London briefly on November 27, passing through on his way to Amsterdam for the Open Contracting 2017 event. It sounds very interesting, so we look forward to his review of the event; I know Peter Smith (Spend Matters and PSF Europe lead) would have attended too, had diary commitments not intervened.

We thought about arranging another “UK Exchange” meeting while Raj was in town, but in the end decided it might be a better use of potential delegates’ time to organise a live webinar with him instead. We’re very sensitive about occupying people’s valuable hours when there is such pressure on all parts of the public sector at the moment, so asking for an hour of your time via the webinar seems sensible rather than asking for the best part of a day to get everyone together.

Anyway, Raj will be giving us an update on progress in the US and indeed globally in terms of PSF, and then we want to talk about what PSF can usefully do in the UK in particular and elsewhere outside the US more generally to support public procurement professionals. Peter Smith will be involved in that discussion too, and we hope delegates will also get involved and put some questions and comments to Raj and Peter. The webinar is open to everybody, by the way, not just previous Exchange delegates, and may well be useful to solution providers and other suppliers to the public sector as well as practitioners.

You can sign up to the webinar here – at 3pm on Monday November 27. The full title is “Value of a Global Public Procurement Community – Progress and Next Steps on Public Spend Forum”.

We’re also pleased to announce the publication of our research paper, very kindly sponsored by our friends at BravoSolution, and titled simply but accurately; Procurement Collaboration in the UK Public Sector.  The research work was carried out earlier this year, and involved an on-line survey and then a series of structured interviews that Peter undertook with UK procurement leaders who had experience with collaboration in its various forms.

The report looks at how collaboration is perceived across the public sector, and provides some thoughts and recommendations in terms of how it might be improved in the future. There is much to celebrate, and some very positive success stories; equally, there are areas where it is clear that more could and should be done to support better and more productive procurement collaboration. For instance, more than half the survey respondents suggested there was significant room for improvement in terms of the results from their collaborative activities.

We’ll be featuring highlights and key findings here in coming weeks, but in the meantime, you can download the whole paper here, free of charge.

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