Suppliers offered chance to grill GPS boss


Changes to the catering equipment procurement process for government contracts have been branded complex and unpractical by the industry in recent months.

But now suppliers will have a chance to get their views heard by the man responsible for their introduction after CESA revealed it has secured a meeting with David Shields, managing director of the Government Procurement Service (GPS).

CESA has an appointment with Shields on Monday 17th September, where it will have the opportunity to raise some of its members’ issues. It is inviting equipment companies and organisations to send them any questions and comments they specifically wish to be raised.

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CESA says the main problem is that the new RFx (request for information) tender released by the GPS is considerably more onerous and complicated than has been the case previously under the OGC and TBA.

In addition, CESA says the major challenges that it and others have raised have largely been ignored by the GPS in its reports on progress.

Keith Warren, director of CESA, described the whole process of planning the new tendering structure as “inadequate”.

He said: “We fully support the GPS in trying to achieve more effective and sustainable public procurement of catering equipment. However, the current plans are ludicrously over-complicated and bureaucratic, so much so that several CESA members have questioned whether it will be worth the effort to tender for GPS contracts — which is surely the opposite of what is intended.”

Indeed, one leading equipment manufacturer recently told Catering Insight that it was now actively seeking to reduce dependence on the public sector due to the complexity of new process, while others have said the arrangement of the process into ‘Lots’ could create problems for manufacturers of specific lines of equipment as they may have to source equipment they do not produce in order to complete the tender.

Warren added: “If we are to achieve the twin goals of a low carbon economy and green public sector procurement we need to find ways to embrace innovative products, through clearer and more open procurement opportunities.”

Anyone who wishes to comment or ask CESA to raise specific issues at the meeting on 17th September can email or phone 020 7793 3030.

Tags : catering equipmentgovernmentManufacturersprocurementsupplierstender
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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