CIPS awards Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) joins, CIPS’s certified procurement excellence organisations, others awarded in the MENA region include AfDB.
Sam Achampong, Regional Head and General Manager, Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, congratulates RTA For its “tireless efforts to make consistent improvements in its procurement and supply operations through continuous assessments and serious efforts to achieve targeted deliverables. RTA’s focus on maintaining excellent procurement and supply operations is worthy of this acclaim.”
Who is the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)?
Founded in 2005, RTA is a government entity that strives to provide an advanced transport network for the people of Dubai, to make public travel safer and smoother.
Its responsibilities - buses, taxis, inter-city transport, roads engineering, registration & licensing, marine transport, commercial ads on the right of way, public buses, roads beautification, roads and parking and rail project.
RTA obtained its certificate from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) for its procurement and supply operations. Becoming the first government entity for roads and transport to obtain this certificate. The award strongly enhances confidence in RTA’s abilities.
“The awarding of this certificate followed strict scrutiny of RTA’s procurement and supply procedures under CIPS assessment programme; which examines businesses in five key areas: leadership and organisation, strategy and policies, people, operations and systems, and performance management,” said Saeed Al Marri, Director of Procurement at RTA’s Corporate Administrative Support Services Sector.
“It is the only independent and comprehensive assessment programme worldwide designed and run by a bunch of elite supply and procurement international experts. It awards certificates of excellence and competency in supply and procurement processes proving that entities have smooth, simple and efficient procurement and supply chains,” commented Al Marri.
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Will Public Procurement Budgets Increase in 2021?
Procurement is more than just a private enterprise. COVID-19 reminded us that sourcing materials is an essential part of the government’s role. Throughout 2022, tiny departments sourced massive amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and emergency vaccines and testing kits. Even non-procurement professionals were pulled into the fray, as frantic timelines demanded nothing less.
According to Celeste Frye, co-founder and CEO of Public Works Partners, the crisis brought procurement to the attention of skilled employees who had never considered it. As non-procurement personnel stepped up to help their coworkers, many found that they’d stumbled upon a critical and rewarding job. “Existing public employees have seen the essential nature of the work”, Frye said. “[They’ve] gained some critical skills and possibly [grown] interested in pursuing procurement as a longer-term career”.
Small, Local Suppliers Take Charge
Frye, whose firm helps organisations engage stakeholders and develop long-term procurement strategies, thinks it well worth the effort to open one’s mind to new opportunities. Cooperative contracts, for instance, can help public departments and municipalities save money, time, and effort. By joining together with other towns or cities in the region, public procurement teams aggregate their purchasing power and can drive better deals.
These cooperative contracts have the added benefit of advancing equity. Smaller suppliers that struggle to compete with established firms for government contracts can act as subcontractors, helping big suppliers fulfil bits of the project. Once they get their foot in the door, small, local, and disadvantaged suppliers can then leverage that government relationship to take on additional projects.
Especially as governments start to pay attention to procurement resilience, public procurement departments must expand their requests for proposals (RFPs) to take into account innovative solutions and diverse suppliers. According to Frye, Public Works Partners—a certified female-owned firm—has benefitted from local and state requirements that specify diversity.
Post-Pandemic Funding Swells Procurement Budgets
And the pandemic won’t be the end of it. City governments need to build sustainable energy infrastructure such as solar panels, charging stations, and recycling plants, ensure that masks and medicines are never in short supply, and source new technologies to keep up with cloud and cybersecurity concerns.
Public procurement budgets will likely increase to match demand. As Peter Ware, Partner and Head of Government at Browne Jacobson, explained, “in a non-pandemic world, the [U.K.] government spends on average around £290 billion on outsourced services, goods, and works...anywhere between 10% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Post-pandemic, city procurement will only increase as national governments provide local divisions with emergency funding.
And in truth, government employees might jump at the opportunity. Frye noted that public procurement could give immediate feedback on new programmes: “[Procurement] is where new laws and policies ‘hit the road’ and are implemented”, she said. “Professionals in these fields get the satisfaction of creating real change and seeing quantifiable outcomes of their work”.