The Department of Health is about to start the trawl to put together design rosters, 18 months after its last attempt foundered.
Purchasing and contracts manager for the communications directorate in the DoH Linda Barnes confirms that it will begin the process, which will take six months to complete, in mid-July.
The DoH’s last deadline for submissions was December 1999. Some 160 consultancies applied, but heard nothing until this May.
The delay and eventual failure of the last attempt was due to staff changes and pressure of work within the department, including the reduction of the purchasing team from seven to one person, says Barnes.
She acknowledges the awkwardness of the situation. “We are trying to make something positive out of a negative situation.” Groups will not be charged to pitch.
The original applicants will be sent the new call for submissions, which will appear in the European Journal. The DoH is looking to create four rosters covering: branding and corporate identity; Web development and e commerce; medium-sized consultancies; and a small operations list.
Consultancies will have to submit a letter, contact details and three years’ accounts within 37 days. They will be sent a 17-page questionnaire, which they will have four weeks to complete.
The questionnaires will be evaluated against a qualitative scoring mechanism and the top-rated consultancies in each category will be invited to tender. Tenders have a statutory 40-day time limit. Some face-to-face interviews and office visits may precede the announcement of the final rosters.