The COI may be being fair, but it doesn’t feel like it

Andrew Prince, referring to the new Central Office of Information design roster, says he’s expecting more than 1000 pre-qualification questionnaire submissions for 11 lots, with five consultancies on each (Letters, DW 26 November). So that’s 55 successful applications and about 945 futile ones – grim odds.

He gives a time of four hours to complete the PQQ. I doubt it can be done in less than ten, taking the case studies into account. That’s 945 futile applications x ten hours x the Design Business Association average rate of £104 per hour = approximately £1m.

None of this is Prince’s fault. It’s down to EU legislation.

With regard to free creative pitches, he says the COI will not demand them. I trust he will honour this when inviting the consultancies that make it through the PQQ stage to prepare their full tender. If so, the COI will be almost alone in the public sector, where the norm is for every consultancy on a Government roster to be obliged to do a free creative pitch for every piece of work of any substance.
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