Tender is the right

I wanted to hit the ground running in my stint as SocialLearn director,
but we have come across a minor hiccup. For services over £139,893 we
are obliged by EU regulations to go to a public procurement process. We will be doing much of the technical development
externally and if at some point we exceed the EU limit without having abided by
their regulations, it could get messy and we'd end up in court. So in the interests of openness, and keeping my job, we'd best go
through the process.

We're putting together the tender now, which has to be posted for 30 days, then we have to select the winner, so I'm
estimating a 2 month delay on some aspects of the project.

I'm divided as to my opinion on the process. I understand why the
legislation is there (to stop public bodies getting someone's cousin to
fulfill a multi-million pound contract), but it does feel like a very
EU type solution (I doubt the US has a similar procedure), why can't we
get on with determining who we think is appropriate? But then again,
I've already found the process useful in clearly defining the scope of
the project, and it may put me in contact with developers I wouldn't
have found otherwise. I'll let you know how it goes and reflect upon my experience of it here for the benefit of those who find procurement processes and EU regulations unbearably thrilling.


  • Scott Leslie

    Welcome to the wonderful world of RFPs and Tenders! The only thing unique about this in my experience is the amount – £139,893? You’d think just to be cute that someone would have added (“and 42p”). Good luck!

  • John Connell

    Are there any framework agreements existing in this broad area that you could utilise, i.e. a set of pre-approved suppliers/vendors that allows you simply to do a quick tender by approaching, say, three of them, seeking quick bids on the basis of an outline spec of some kind, and choosing one? Such a framework, if it exists, will itself have been set up using an approved EU procurement process, thereby keeping the shortened tender process within the law.
    Does the OU have access, for instance, to OGC national frameworks?

  • Daniel

    John I too am divided as to my opinion on the process for these tenders. You should put an Invitation to Tender online (if you haven’t done already) whilst you define the exact scope of the project to get the ball rolling so to speak.
    I’ll be interested in knowing how it goes from your perspective and hell I might put in a tender dependant on the scope.
    Good luck!

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