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The Practical Partnering Forum, set up by international law firm Denton Wilde Sapte six months ago, has been hailed...
The Practical Partnering Forum, set up by international law firm Denton Wilde Sapte six months ago, has been hailed as a success because it has openly encouraged both the public and private sectors to communicate with each other.

Contract Journal (p8) reports that the forum aims to encourage excellence in partnering and procurement and stimulate debate on relevant issues between the sectors, as well as enabling best practice procedures to be widely adopted.

Islington LBC, one of the councils on board, said the forum opened up new avenues for both sectors to communicate. Nick Sharman, its deputy chief executive, said: 'Working in partnership with the private sector is critical if local government is to improve its services in line with the government's best value programme.

'But traditional divisions between the public and private sectors have meant that these partnerships have been slow to develop. This initiative performs a vitally important task in providing a joint forum to discuss partnership strategies for procurement and contract management.'

Mark Norman, corporate solicitor at Tower Hamlets LBC, said: 'We have three major private finance initiative projects, two of which are pathfinder projects. Normally the public sector would come into contact with the private sector only in a formal way, for example during the tender process or during an established business relationship.

'Being able to chat with people about issues without either side having an agenda is extremely useful,' he added.

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