Edinburgh Uni defends its ‘common practice’ fees

I write in response to Laura Gibbons’ letter about the University of Edinburgh (DW 24 June).

I write in response to Laura Gibbons’ letter about the University of Edinburgh (DW 24 June).

The university, in common with many public bodies, is entitled to charge an administration fee for suppliers to obtain tender documentation; for example, when tendering across Europe. This is quite a common practice in higher education and the fee level is often dependent on overall contract value.

A charge of ‘up to £200’ is not relevant to this contract as that may be levied for a business opportunity above £1m – it was referred to as an illustration that a minimum administration charge was needed for this particular tender.

The initial advertisement for the tender opportunity is published freely and gives a background to the type and scope of the requirement, but it is limited to the space provided by the Official Journal of the European Union.

As mentioned in the advertisement, further information can be sought from the named procurement and other contact.

This is free of charge, so that specific questions can be asked by potential bidders to help them decide whether it is relevant to their business, or not worth them paying the £50 tender administration fee to be included in a £300 000 opportunity within a framework agreement.

Stuart McLean

Printing services manager

Procurement, Printing and Supplies

University of Edinburgh EH8 9YL

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