2021 is here. There are many cyber security and procurement predictions for the new year. Some of the prediction trends are not new or revolutionary, but they are important to recognise, acknowledge, and perhaps even utilise throughout the upcoming year. One thing we should not do is ignore them.
Public sector organisations at risk from cyber threats
The National Crime Agency has seen a “significant growth in cyber criminality in the form of high-profile ransomware campaigns over the last year”.
This kind of breach can leak personal data on a massive scale. Public sector organisations must not relive the past. During the WannaCry attacks in 2017 lives were put at risk and services damaged by a ransomware campaign that affected the NHS and many other organisations worldwide.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also escalated risk as 1 in 4 UK cyber attacks in 2020 are related to COVID. The total number of cyber incidents over this year has increased by 20% compared to the annual average since 2016*.
The healthcare sector is a popular target for hackers. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently reported a fivefold increase in cyber-attacks (in 2020) against the organisation compared to the previous year.
Cyber security experts Cyber Essentials said:
“The main fear among NHS professionals is that another cyber attack during the coronavirus pandemic would cause similar widespread disruption. This is not a situation the NHS can afford in its current fragile state. It is likely that hackers will continue to target the NHS in 2021.”
On 31 December 2020, the Transition period for the United Kingdom ended and we left the EU Single Market and Customs Union.
For the UK, Brexit has been a significant event that has presented businesses and public sector organisations with both challenges and opportunities.
On 1 January 2021, Find a Tender Service (known as FTS) replaced the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) as the place to which UK above threshold procurement notices must be sent for new procurements. Any procurement that started in the OJEU on or before 31 December 2020 must continue to be published in the OJEU. As an eSender, Delta eSourcing has been involved with FTS since before its launch and can guarantee that all notices created through Delta eSourcing are sent efficiently to FTS.
The UK Government has published a Green Paper ‘Transforming Public Procurement’ which details many of the changes that they propose to make to the current procurement framework.
At Delta eSourcing, we are acutely aware of the bearing that this could have on our clients in the public sector and we plan to keep you informed during 2021 on how this is impacting across the procurement marketplace.
This briefing takes a high level look at what we know is changing, the key proposals in the Green Paper and a few things we hope may come to fruition as the changes are enacted.
For more information and advice on Brexit, visit our dedicated section of this website.
COVID-19 could continue to affect global supply chains
The Coronavirus outbreak has affected supply chains across the world.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses across all continents as many suppliers are struggling to meet their contractual obligations, putting their financial viability, ability to retain staff, and their supply chains at risk.
As many countries have experienced “lockdowns”, many businesses have had to close. If suppliers could not obtain the right equipment and supplies from their supply chain, both the procurement process and work on existing contracts came to a halt.
Many countries are now back in lockdown. Whether your organisation is working with domestic or international suppliers, it is crucial that it balances auditing practice with relationship management, something which supplier management software can support your organisation to achieve.
Not only will supplier relationship management software support your employees to discipline your organisation’s processes, but this software will also help your procurement team to strategically plan and manage interactions with suppliers.
Social and economic value and environmental benefits will continue to be of huge importance
While the fundamental aim of public procurement is to buy goods, works and services for the public sector, the reality has become increasingly complex. The public sector is regularly exhorted to greater efficiency, while the years of austerity saw large areas of the sector experience significant budget reductions. These factors have led to an ever-increasing desire for greater value for money, and for procurement to achieve more than merely purchasing.
As part of the quest for value for money, for every pound spent to do the greatest good and achieve the maximum possible return, public procurement has come to be seen and used as a vehicle through which other goals can be achieved, including social value, economic benefit, and environmental targets. All these are important aspects of the local and central government and the wider public sector’s drive to build a better, fairer, and greener society.
These aspects of public procurement are likely to assume even greater importance. The government is proposing to publish a National Procurement Policy Statement which will set out new priorities for procurement, one of which is social value, including delivering social, economic and environmental outcomes.
One of the challenges when seeking to apply social, economic, and environmental value to public procurement is that its inclusion often makes procurement exercises more subjective, and as challenges to procurement exercises are often on the more subjective elements, it becomes more important to create a clear audit trail.
Using Delta, you can create and record your audit trail, facilitating reporting and placing your organisation in a more legally defensible position.
Start 2021 with Delta
Despite Lockdown 3.0, 2021 is shaping up to be a significantly better year than 2020. Buyers and suppliers have learned from their experiences in the lead-up to Brexit and last year’s lockdown period. They now understand that preparing for the unpredictable is essential for success.
Delta eSourcing supports buying organisations to manage every stage of the tendering process and supply chain in a single solution, and accordance with UK and EU regulatory requirements.
One of the biggest challenges in the procurement world is finding a user-friendly solution that can be easily adopted by other departments. Delta is so simple to use it quickly relieves pressure on procurement resources by enabling others to help with procurement tasks safely and securely.
Choosing Delta eSourcing, we can help you to maximise the value of those interactions. Find out why thousands of public sector buyers choose Delta eSourcing today with a free demo.
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