Procurement Support to States of Guernsey

– Case Study

States of Guernsey Logo

The Background

From 1st January 2013 changes to the “Zero-10” tax regime in Guernsey were implemented and the Treasury Department estimated that the annual cost to the Island of repealing the deemed distribution provisions would be in the region of £4 million per annum based on tax raised since 2008. As a consequence, The States of Guernsey (SOG) instituted a number of initiatives in order to become more cost conscious and efficient at how they spent public money.
One of these initiatives was to rebuild and refresh their approach to procurement and strengthen their in-house procurement team. Prism Director Ian Beverley was appointed as their new Director of Strategic Procurement with the mission to deliver these objectives and to realise significant savings.

The Challenge

Guernsey was/is not subject to the existing Public Contracts Regulations (PCR 2015) given they are a protectorate of the UK, not a part of the UK. Their approach to procurement had therefore not been as rigorous or robust as the regime imposed by PCR 2015. The challenge therefore was to find the middle ground that introduced rigour and efficiency whilst not constraining the engagement with both off-island and, most importantly, local on-island businesses that had hitherto been enjoyed. At the same time, as there was no overarching legislation compelling ‘procurement compliance’, buy-in to this more rigorous approach was needed from each Head of Department and from the regular supply chain.
To make matters even more challenging SOG also introduced a new ERP system – SAP – utilising a ‘Big Bang’ approach (rather than a phased approach) by cutting across to the new system on 1st January 2013, the day Ian took up his appointment.

The Solution​

Communication underpinned the success of the solution implemented. Given the long term nature of this project Ian relocated to Guernsey for two years to enable him to build relationships and trust both with the SOG SMT and the local supply chain. By engaging on a personal basis with both ends of the supply chain – Buyers and Suppliers – we were able to introduce new, more robust processes that were analogous to those within PCR2015 but with more flexibility and commercialism built in. We delivered the first ever ‘Meet the Buyer’ event that enabled local suppliers to meet the people within the SOG with whom they had been dealing for a number of years without ever meeting face to face. Procurement training was introduced; we met Trade Associations who had never engaged with a procurement professional; and we sought input from all stakeholders – Buyer and Suppliers – when developing the first SOG Procurement Policy. Most importantly we rebuilt trust in the procurement process ensuring it was seen as fair, transparent, and necessary for all parties involved in doing business with the SOG.

The Outcome

The outcome was a strong, respected procurement team that delivered the required efficiencies and savings for the SOG through the provision of a robust, open and transparent procurement process. The team were supported by buy-in from all of the SMT from the Chief Exec and Treasurer across all Department Heads, and continue to deliver an outstanding service today.