The Central Office of Information Communications has once again drawn flak from the design industry over its creative services roster, following news that it already boasts 22 names and still has more than 100 applications to evaluate.
The COI refuses to disclose how many consultancies will eventually be listed as approved suppliers, or how many applications the successful 22 groups have been drawn from.
However, it has confirmed that it received well over 200 applications and has at least another 100 to evaluate. Its “current best guess” as to when the evaluation process will be complete is the end of July, according to COI director of publications and digital media Michael Reid.
Consultancies – including some that have already gained roster status – are concerned that the sheer size of the roster may devalue their places on it.
Reid defends the COI’s stance on the grounds that it never set out to appoint a specific number. “The Government covers an incredibly broad range of subjects and we want to take as wide a scan of the [design] waterfront as possible,” he says.
The COI’s attempts to construct a roster have been controversial from the first, when it emerged that it was charging design groups for the privilege of submitting applications to the roster (DW February 16).