Introduction: The procurement of Southwest One.
Lessons for Somerset and Taunton Deane UNISON branches.
Continued opposition to the contract culture.
Scrutiny, governance, participation, impact assessment and neglect of the public interest.
Access to information.
The new agenda.
The report identifies six fundamental shortcomings in the procurement of Southwest One:
Failure to engage the community.
Failure of scrutiny.
Failure to ensure the public interest was safeguarded.
The questionable role of HR in public procurement.
Flawed options appraisal.
An unprecedented level of commercial confidentiality was imposed during the procurement process of Southwest One. The report makes a series of recommendations for Southwest One, local authorities and public bodies in the South West, national public policy changes and a UNISON strategy for the South West. Three important changes are required in the policy-making process. Local authorities and public bodies should be required to produce a Participation and Engagement Plan for the commissioning and procurement process, procurement documents should contain statements about their expectations of bidders in facilitating participation and their approach to access to information and protocols on user/community participation, staff/trade Union participation and access to Information protocols should be an integral part of local authority procurement policies and strategies.
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