COI procurement shake-up is a cause for financial concern

The news that the COI design rosters are again up for tender is not a cause for celebration (DW 24 September).

Based on the last time, 650 consultancies will apply for pre-qualification questionnaires, and the total cost of them all tendering, by my reckoning, is more than £1m. At the end of this process there will be 20 or so winners. However, we’ve been successful with the COI on the past two occasions and never had a single job.

Another Government department we work for asked all 12 companies on its roster to do an unpaid full creative pitch for a piece of work worth £50k. Our pitch cost was £5k and would have been similar for the others. That’s £60k spent by the designers, collectively, to win £50k. Mad.

Communications officers are naive about costs to potential suppliers, and procurement officials have their hands tied by EU fairness requirements.

Bear in mind that Hampshire County Council got 185 PQQs for its design roster and NHS Monitor had several hundred before inviting 93 companies to do a full creative tender.
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