Archive: July, 2016

Breakdown in procurement governance

A breach of EU procurement rules and a breakdown of corporate governance at Southern Health NHS Trust has landed the chief executive, Katrina Percy, in more hot water.

A consultancy called Talent Works Ltd, run by a former colleague of Ms Percy’s, won a tender with a value of £288,000 over three years. Southern Health paid the supplier £5.365m – an over-spend approaching 2,000%.

The case highlights the need for a procurement function which is independent from budget holders. Furthermore, it underscores the need for effective financial forecasting and contract management.

This case only hit the headlines because Southern Health has been under intense scrutiny since an NHS England commissioned a report in December that found it failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of hundreds of patients. Breakdowns in the corporate governance related to procurement is probably more wide spread than most of us care to admit.