Dear Member,

Conscious of IAPI’s ongoing commitment to improve the daily lives of its members, we recently had a meeting with Paul Quinn, who is the newly appointed Head of National Procurement Service (NPS).  Seeking to make the procurement process more cost effective for both state agency and communications agency alike, we presented a number of requests and suggestions which are all available here.

IAPI Presentation to the Procurement Service

The good news is that the NPS is looking to reduce the number of people across the public service who are procuring on an ad hoc basis. And by the middle of next year a new structure will be put in place which will involve specialised procurement, in a more centralised structure.  So there may be one person, or several, whose role will be to procure marketing communications services across the public sector. This is ultimately likely to result in less wastage from an agency perspective and more clarity when tendering for business that falls under the NPS remit.

As part of our Finding the Right Agency initiative, we presented Paul Quinn with a copy of our pitch guide. And the preference for moving to Strategic rather than Full Creative pitches was introduced to him. We also specifically requested that the NPS consider reducing the number of pitch participants to a maximum of 5 agencies.

During the meeting, we stressed the importance of face to face meetings when procuring communications services. And expressed our members concerns regarding the use of the Open Procedure whereby agencies are obliged to effectively pitch for business by envelope. It was outlined to us that the Open Procedure is seen as important from a Government perspective in supporting SME development. We did however make it clear that this is not a view that is shared across our industry.

We also proposed that a standardised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire be introduced for all NPS tenders. Having completed extensive member consultation and research, we prepared and designed a template for the NPS to consider adopting, which was well received. Although it would appear that any progress on this specific aspect is unlikely before the restructuring is completed, thus in the second half of 2014.

After 3 years on the IAPI Board, I have had the pleasure of being part of the rejuvenation of IAPI as a relevant and dynamic industry body. The work involved by Board members during that period has been really quite extensive and there is no doubt that there is now room for all members to be involved to a greater degree.

While the National Procurement Service is obviously very cautious by its very nature, it is our view following our meeting that there is an appetite to work towards greater efficiency in agency selection. So please don’t be afraid to put your hand up if you are exercised by this particular issue or indeed any other, as there is plenty to be achieved.

Thanks, Ken Ivory, 

Director of Client Services, 


IAPI Board Member