Tendering Writ Large

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After the abject failure of England’s World Cup bid, I guess the PM, the Prince and the Playboy now know what it’s like to be stitched up by a tendering process.

Yep, for those of us in a competitive sector continually being tempted by public sector pings on our supplier matching systems, it’s heart warming to know that the best isn’t always a winner. The old boy network, the inside deal, the nod & the wink, are inherent in most tenders despite all protestations to the contrary.

We’ve all been there.

Tendering is collusion in collective delusion. Most businesses accept as a fact of life that if you go down the route of the public sector tendering process be prepared to fill in endless, long winded, pompous, politically correct forms that’ll end up in the bin.

And if someone gives you a call and asks you to tender, it’s the kiss of death as they may be making up numbers for a job they’ve got someone lined up for.

Unfortunately even the most steely of us gets suckered in. Earlier this year, when phoning for feedback on a tender we went for (worth £5k), it was clear the girl at the end of the phone hadn’t even read our 20-page document. Don’t blame her really; the questions on the form were pointless and dull.

So if poor old Blighty, with its hundreds of pages of forms (which by the way were given an A-grade pass by FIFA) and which cost £15m, feels hard done by, spare a thought for the thousands of hopes raised only to be dashed by an outdated, over-administered public service procurement system.