English Partnerships, the Government quango charged with offering advice, planning and strategy for a range of different organisations, has selected ten consultancies for consideration for its design roster.
“We are putting together a panel of design consultancies,” a spokeswoman confirms. But arrangements have not been finalised, she says.
The English Partnerships approach is in stark contrast to the way the Central Office of Information Communications is putting together its roster. While English Partnerships has narrowed its search to ten of the 100-plus consultancies that applied, the COI is ploughing through evaluations of all its applicants. “We limit the number of consultancies on our roster because it makes it easier for us to manage in terms of us getting best practice from those consultancies. We can’t have a limitless roster because it is just not practicable,” explains the spokeswoman.
English Partnerships has advertised for “a range of design and print services” and successful consultancies will be contracted for 36 months, with an option to extend for a maximum of a further 24 months. English Partnerships has an annual design and print spend of about £250 000.
Consultancies have been asked to take part in a credentials pitch. They are not having to pay an administration charge, unlike those applying to join the COI creative services pitch.
The spokeswoman says the quango has no existing roster, but it has operated rosters in the past.
“I would imagine previously rostered groups have applied because it is a nice pitch,” she says. Further details, including ex-incumbents, have been withheld.
English Partnerships works with, among others, central and local Government, the Regional Development Agencies and the private sector to bring about sustainable economic regeneration and development.