Times Higher Award for UWE's Procurement team

Issue date: 20 June 2011

The Procurement team at the University of the West of England has won the Outstanding Procurement Team prize at the Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2011. The award was presented by David Murphy, Director of the Public Sector, for Office Depot the award sponsors at a special ceremony in London on Thursday 16 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.

Helen Baker, UWE Procurement Manager, is delighted to win, she said, “It's just great for the procurement team at UWE and I would like to say a big thank you to Sally Ford, Anita Drewery, Purchasing Officers and colleagues in the Relays team within our Research Business and Innovation team. We are really pleased to have procurement recognised and to get recognition from colleagues working in the sector. We were up against an impressive shortlist including the teams from the University of Nottingham, the University of Edinburgh, the London University Purchasing Consortium and Westminster University.

“We are proud that we have been able to deliver on UWE's partnership ethos by working with local organisations such as Bristol City Council and People and Planet and many small businesses in the Bristol area. I think the judges were particularly impressed by our commitment to organising and taking part in events to help and encourage businesses that might initially hesitate to tender for work at the University. We are keen to make the process as fair and transparent as possible.”

Professor Steve West, UWE Vice-Chancellor, said, “This is really good news for UWE. We pride ourselves on delivering through partnership working and this recognition for Helen Baker and the rest of the procurement team illustrates that we achieve our ambitions in this respect resoundingly. The team's application was backed up by glowing recommendations from several of the partner organisations with whom they work - very well done to all.”

Christine Storry, Bristol City Council, said, “The support from UWE's procurement team has been invaluable in respect of sub-regional support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly around a series of annual events which aim to open up the procurement process to SMEs. Working closely with Bristol City Council, these events focus on unravelling the complexity of the public procurement processes, where to find tender opportunites, and alerting organisations to issues which will affect them in their tendering process, such as equalities and sustainability. Approximately 750 attendees have benefited from these events.

“The UWE procurement team are always keen to collaborate where possible, willing to share their experience and learn from others to improve public procurement in the sub-region.”

Jim Cranshaw, Corporate Campaigns and Communications Manager, People and Planet, said, "Helen Baker has been an exceptional procurement manager in proactively using her procurement policy and practice at UWE to improve conditions for workers in their international supply chains. She has engaged with suppliers to encourage them to improve workers' conditions, asking suppliers for transparency about their supply chains, and also putting in place cutting edge policies and institutional oversight mechanisms to ensure that this continues in a sustainable way."

Andy Hicken, Director of Cabot Thermals Ltd, said, “After attending two of Helen's Seminars on PPQs, I must say that my fear of them has completely banished. I can highly recommend this event to anyone who breaks out in a cold sweat when these dreaded half inch thick questionnaires land on their desks.”

The team will be attending the Business Exhibition and Meet the Buyer event, organised by Bristol City Council, the Best of Bristol and the Federation of Small Businesses, on Tuesday 21 June at the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Conference Centre in Bristol to encourage local purchasing by Bristol's major businesses.


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