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Hailey Thomson

Remedies Directive Loophole – Courts Lift Suspensions for Contract

A colleague of mine recently sent me an article about authorities who have been permitted to proceed with contracts after being challenged by a supplier.  Now, if you remember one of my more recent posts, A Slap on The Wrist for Authorities I discussed (in short) how more authorities are being pulled up for their actions when awarding contracts  unfairly and what you could do as a supplier, I believe my exact words were, “just by making a formal complaint you can put a hiatus on the contract award”. Imagine my surprise when I read the article about three cases where the court lifted the suspension and allowed the contract to continue. Apparently the new Remedies Directive has a tiny little loophole, the same law that allows suppliers to put the brakes on a contract award allows authorities to continue the contract until something more concrete is settled in court. Now this won’t be the case for every authority, they must have to merit the circumstances, but it might put some suppliers off the idea of challenging authorities in court. The courts have suggested awarding damages may be the best way to solve the issue when dealing with brazen suppliers willing to challenge the system. The first case was for cleaning services in a college, the college fought that they needed the cleaning services to continue classes, therefore the college was permitted to carry on with the chosen supplier until an agreement was reached in court (i.e. damages). The second case was for an NHS trust which obviously needed to continue business as usual as they are dealing with people’s health, so again the NHS trust were permitted to use the chosen supplier. The third case was regarding landmine clearance in Cambodia…… need I say more?

So what does this mean for suppliers? Will any challenged authority be quoting these cases in court? If the courts feel that damages will be the best path to take when these cases arise, is this really good value for public money? I feel this loophole goes against the power the authorities were kindly given. It goes back to the same old idealism, be transparent and do it right in the first place. If any of our readers are running into trouble with Authorities, let us hear your story!

Standardised PQQ’s – So what is the standard anyway?

I agree with standardised PQQ’s about as much as I agree with world peace; great in principal, but is it a reality? Okay, so maybe it is a touch dramatic to compare PQQ’s to world peace, but standardising PQQ’s will be a colossal mission- can it be done? I asked the question on Twitter a few weeks back, “What annoys you most about PQQ’s” and we got the same answer – Repetition. So can it be done? Here a look at some of the (my) pros and cons.
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A Slap on The Wrist for Authorities

Are Procurement Standards Slipping or Are the Powers That be getting Stricter?

I feel that every tweet, RSS and blog is talking about another authority getting pulled up and challenged on one of their “sweep-it-under-the-rug” tenders.

The European Commission has requested Greece to ensure full compliance with EU rules on public procurement – the purchase of goods and services by public authorities – as regards school bus services and the supply of underground electricity cables….. Read the rest of the post

Get Ready Suppliers, The PM has Opened the NHS Floodgate!

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

David Cameron’s article in the Telegraph on Sunday left a bitter taste in the air for many readers. The PM wants “the decisive end of the old-fashioned, top-down, take-what-you’re-given model of public services” In turn, opening up ALL services to tender, starting with the NHS as a model. Polly Toynbee wrote in the Guardian on Monday

“…the NHS open to contract by “any willing provider”. Any company can claim the right to provide any part of the NHS – even if the local GP consortium is very happy with the NHS surgeons providing operations.”

She highlights the downside of these open to tender services being “traded as financial instruments, sliced and diced according to risk and sold on.” The 1332 comments to follow the article are a mob of extremely irate voters. The general feel of the readers is distrust for the current PM. One commenter noted, “None of this has been voted for – it is in effect a coup”, another said “the death of Public Services” and one clever suggestion was to “sell the Crown Jewels” to put money back into services! As a whole no one was overly impressed with the news.

As a tax payer, mother and frequent user of the NHS I can’t say I am overly impressed. However, the long time employee of Tenders Direct and the supplier focused side of me, is actually secretly excited for all of our customers out there. The long awaited contracts will be coming in hard and fast, so get ready suppliers; the floodgate has opened.

The Mystery Behind Part B Services

When I was working in customer services for Tenders Direct I was always getting asked about the loophole that is Part B Services. Whispers of a tender due to come out any day now, companies waiting patiently and BANG, before they know it, the Tender has been awarded to John Doe Ltd down the road. How does this happen, where was the tender published and why do some tenders disappear into a black hole of EU Laws?!

Continue reading “The Mystery Behind Part B Services”

£100 of John Lewis Vouchers!

As part of a successful year Tenders Direct are offering you £100 of John Lewis vouchers for everyone you recommend to the service!

What does £100 get you in John Lewis?

6 spotty rubber ducks or
1 Panasonic HD Pocket Camcorder or
200 Orange Golf  Tees or
4 Tubes of Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick or
2 Suitcases or
1 Kindle e-reader (+ £11 out of your pocket!)

Now get out your little black book, dig out those old Business Cards, glance through Twitter and help out an old friend you know would benefit! Visit the Tenders Direct website for more information and Terms and Conditions.

Solar Power Tenders – Summer Must be on It’s Way!

Did you know: 1 University, 2 Housing Associations and 3 Councils are installing up to 15k Solar Panels over the next 3 years. And that is just the tenders for one week! Someone out there must be predicting a scorcher this summer!

It is so nice to see the Public Sector looking for alternative means of energy, after all it was in 1997 (Kyoto Protocol) the UK Government promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 12.5% by 2008 to 2012. Last year the UK Government vowed its ‘greenest year ever’ and promised central government would reduce its carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months  60.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are created by the UK each year and the Public Sector is only responsible for 3%. That is any easy enough target to reduce, only 5.7 million tonnes!

See tips for suppliers after the jump…..>

eTendering – The Final Frontier or Just the Beginning…?

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.
Bill Gates

Today’s technology is high-speed and merciless; if you miss even one of the latest trends, you’ve practically fallen off the face of the earth. As purchasers move more and more into eProcurement and eTendering, are the suppliers, particularly SME’s feeling left behind?

Do not let eTendering pass you by! Keep reading and have a quick look at my checklist to help you with future eTenders… MORE

Seasonal CPV Codes and Festive Tender Notices

As most people start their Christmas holidays this week, or for those suffering from post-Christmas party sore heads, we will keep the procurement topics light and cheery. I have taken a typical Tenders Direct Christmas and replaced as many words as I could with CPV codes. Have a guess at what you think they might be! The answers and some festive Tender Notices are after the jump.

Tenders Direct has sent the 22321000 with lovely 22411000 and trimmed our 39298910 with glimmering 31522000. The 15981320 is falling, the 18315000 are hung, and the 44423100 are ringing. Nigella herself won’t have seen a better looking 15112120 with a side of 03222315 and yummy 03221440 we smother the whole lot in 15893300. With full bellies, we put our 18318300 on and leave 15511000 and 15821200 out for St. Nic and some 03221112 for Rudolph. Off to our 39143110 to dream of 15831000 03222334 and wait for our 18530000. We awake to hear St. Nic on our 44112400 and soon to make his way down the 45262610. In the morning, we were overjoyed to find everything we had asked for and more, 37532000, 37480000, 38650000, 37821000, and a few 18315000 full of 09111100, I wonder who those belong to…?

CPV code answers and some festive tenders >>

Keep your eye on the game – Picking a winning Bid Team.

Do you find yourself scrambling with every tender the day before the deadline, frantically gathering your tender documents and cutting and pasting 75% of the tender together? It might be time to put together your Bid Team. Putting together a great tender is more than one person’s job, however in a busy working environment it tends to fall on the laps of busy people who already have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Take a stand! Start your Bid Team today!

Continue reading “Keep your eye on the game – Picking a winning Bid Team.”

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