Archives for August 9th, 2002

HELPLINE FOR COUNCILS IN CRISIS

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 August, 2002

With multi-million pound budgets and a responsibility to deliver often complex services, councils facing a crisis not only risk damaging their reputation, but the delivery of key services for local communities. It is likely that the Council in crisis has never had to confront the issue previously and it is unlikely that senior managers will have any experience of dealing with similar situations. Help in handling both external and internal communications in a crisis is now at hand from the Crisis Communications Network. The service is provided by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the Institute of Public Relations.The Network is made up of a register of people who have wide experience in the management of communications in a crisis situation. They have been involved in many different crises and know what they are doing. These professionals will offer free advice and support to any Council that believes they could benefit from expert and experienced assistance and will work in partnership with colleagues in the affected Council to help them successfully manage the crisis they are facing.

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PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT FAILING TO GET BENEFITS FROM SMALL BUSINESSES

Headlines, PublicNet: 9 August, 2002

Government departments, councils and the NHS are geared to dealing with large companies and are failing to get better deals from small businesses. This is the finding from a government backed survey by Tenders Direct. The survey has highlighted the extent of concern amongst the private sector about access to the UK public sector market and brought swift promises of action from both the Small Business Minister and the Chief Executive of the Office for Government Commerce.The survey identified a number of problems which hamper the ability of private companies to do business with the public sector. The major problem to emerge is the difficulty in finding out about opportunities. Over 60% of respondents said it was difficult to find information about tenders and nearly 70% complained that it was difficult to make contacts in the public sector. 72% of respondents said they received no assistance it attempting to break into public procurement. The public sector market is worth 175 billion pounds annually, 17.5% of GDP, but it is claimed that only 20% of public procurement is publicised in government journals. This means that contracts worth over 135 billion pounds are not being openly publicised in a way that would encourage UK suppliers to compete.

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