Public sector red tape is a barrier to small consultancies

We’re still a relatively new consultancy, but thought it was time to start putting in tenders to Government Land. We recently saw a carrot being dangled by the Carbon Trust. But to have a go, we had to go to a website, then follow a link to download a pdf with instructions on how to submit a questionnaire, to receive a questionnaire to obtain a document to complete to stand a chance of tendering for work. Are you still with me?

We’re a small group, but we work for clients such as the Environment Agency, Sniffer, the Forestry Commission and Yamaha. Size, in this context, is little bar to creativity or effectiveness. What is a bar is having to wade through pages of complex instructions.

By using procedures like this, organisations are cutting out the chance to get good work at a relatively low cost. If they could simplify the tendering process, they’d get better work and more eager staff and they’d pay less for both. But perhaps that might be a bit too simple…

Mark McArthur-Christie, Partner, Freeman Christie, Oxford OX28 1NH

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