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Competative tender or NOT?

(19 Posts)
Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 08:04:56

If you had been asked to tender for a job and having spent a week or so doing this and money, then found out that the company who won the tender had helped write the tender document so had six months of inside information, rather than 3 weeks - would you be pissed off? and would you do something about it?

glitterfairy Tue 27-Feb-07 08:12:42

Yes Beety go for it. There are rules about this sort of stuff and someone with legal knowledge ought to know.

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 09:32:12

anyone else????

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 09:50:55


Legacy Tue 27-Feb-07 09:57:25

Yes - this sort of thing has occasionally happened to me too - have been asked to put in a proposal, then discover later it's simply for someone to be seen to be 'going through the motions' of having a competitive tender.

What did I do - well nothing, really, except learn from experience.
I guess it depends whether you want to work for them again in the future?

You could write a polite note expressing your concern that this has not been a fair process, and claiming reasonable time and expenses, but unless it was agreed in advance, they probably won't pay it

I was asked to attend an 'exploratory meeting' which meant travelling 350 miles and taking a day fo my time. I had just been to the same company for a different person 2 weeks previously, but was not yet working for them. I said yes, but on the condition that if there wasn't any work coming out of it I would charge a days time + expenses. That said, I never did because I'm still hoping to get in there at some point....

It's crap isn't it?

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 09:59:40

so it is not illegal for a charity to do this?

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 10:02:50

What is a competitive tender?


This is the process by which the Council decides who is the best provider. The tender itself is the completed and priced pre-prepared document that lays out all the terms, conditions and specification. The Council usually invites a minimum of 5 suppliers to submit a tender. The invitation to tender is issued to all suppliers on the same day. They are not allowed to canvass or collude with the Council, other than to seek clarity.

The time allowed for pricing and submitting a tender varies; it is normally around 4 to 6 weeks.


Legacy Tue 27-Feb-07 10:05:09

I've never heard of it being illegal.

Unethical - probably
Bad practice - certainly

It happens a lot in marketing/ advertising (what line of work are you in, Beetroot?)
Typically a junior manager will be told by his boss that he needs to put something out to competitive tender. The junior doesn't want to change the agency as a) they know what they're doing and it makes his life easier and b) he's probably shagging the accoutn exec so he works with them (the existing agency) to make sure they 'win' the pitch. Usually the others come in a bit cheaper, and then this is used to negotiate the estimate down.

I always make a point of asking if it is a truly competitive tender - and then watching the response....

Legacy Tue 27-Feb-07 10:07:48

Hmm - that does sound bad form - especially with public money. Can you complain?

You need to think what you would ask for? And what the implications might be for you in the future?
Do you know any of the others who tendered? Could you work as a team to make a joint complaint?

Take it up with your local councillor?

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 10:17:14

we work in events.

Not sure if we want to say anything yet. Have spoken to trustees and another cmpany who tenedered and they are furious

northerner Tue 27-Feb-07 10:21:14

Beety we work in events also as you know and tender for contracts all the time. I have no experience of another tenderer (sp?) helping write the tender, but I do know that quite often companies put out a tender and actually have no intention of chaging supplier, it's just going through the motions.

It is a bummer though, alot of time, effort and hard work goes into preparing a response.

Don't know if what has happenned here is ilegal though. Hope someone else can advise you better.

Legacy Tue 27-Feb-07 10:25:06

Just to play devil's advocate, I suppose looking at it from the existing company's point of view...

It's possible that only they know all the exact details to write the tender document - especially if they have run the event for several years or something?

If they lost to another company, they might be thinking 'It's so unfair that I had to write a tender document for OUR EXISTING CONTRACT'... just a thought?

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 10:46:54

Legacy - no the company who helped write the tender and then won it are brand new - we have been runnign the event for 7 years and refused to tender as we didn't agree withteh changes.

northerner Tue 27-Feb-07 11:09:12

So you didn't actually tender for it?

julienetmum Tue 27-Feb-07 11:10:10

We tender for a lot of building contracts.

I "think" that it is only people like councils and the NHS who are obliged to put stuff out to tender.

Other companies are free to chose their suppliers. We sometimes win tenders even though we are not the cheapest on the basis of our reputation.

glitterfairy Tue 27-Feb-07 11:21:38

It should have been included in the information sent out but having considered this I dont think there is anything you can do especially because you chose not to tender.

It is not best practice but it happens and there is nothing inherently wrong, if the people who wrote it didnt actually judge who got the job.

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 11:27:47

yes we chose not to tender because:
a. we didn't agree with the way things were changing
b we had inside info that something was not right

However we have since learnt that our HUNCh about things not being right was correct. We are now angry that the whole thing is a stitch up.

Northerner I will tel you more offline

crumpet Tue 27-Feb-07 11:55:29

is it public sector? might be worth a look at public procurement rules - here's the first result of a quick google which may be useful:

Beetrootccio Tue 27-Feb-07 12:09:55

thanks will have a look

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