Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The unfortunate case of sponsorship procurement: A case study

I recently discussed the procurement of sponsorship - little did I realise that procurement of sponsorship would become quite a big political issue for London so quickly. Now we learn that Boris has found terms written into the sponsorship agreement of the Emirates Air Line (Cable Car) so unpalatable that a re-write of the 10 year sponsorship deal is required.

The are at least five issues;

  1. The average man in the street knows Boris Johnston is quite outspoken - how was he unaware of a constraint in the sponsorship deal which prohibits any criticism of the deal, the UAE royal family and government? That was a big constraint but also the associate risk required careful management and a high-level of awareness;
  2. The contract would be in breach if the cable service is sold off or assigned as security to a 'conflicting person' or business from a country with which the UAE has no diplomatic relations - which effectively includes any Israeli linked business - how was that constraint signed;
  3. Given the alleged "anti-Israeli" clause, was the contract subjected to any equalities impact assessment?
  4. Were procurement even involved in this deal?
  5. How many other sponsorship contracts exist within TfL which have not been risk assessed?
We are told the contract will now be rewritten - the need for a rewrite is not only an embarrassment but also recognition of a failure to get it right in the first place. This is a lesson for all - get on top of procuring sponsorship before it get's on top of you. The acceptance of the need for contract re-negotitions in the public sector is becoming all to frequent an occurrence - just how long will this be considered reasonable?

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