The EHRC aims to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality and protect human rights.
An initial tender was put out on 24 June calling for submissions to address a brand strategy project that would see groups propose a realignment of current identity to make it ‘more consistent across all material’, according to Mags Patten, director of external affairs at the EHRC.
On 10 July a second tender was put out, and groups who applied to the first tender were given the option of also tendering for a project to look at a campaign for the quango’s advice guidance helpline.
The brief for both projects, according to Patten, is ‘to make the commission warm and approachable, which hasn’t quite been achieved so far.’ She adds, ‘Essentially, when the commission started a couple of years ago, it didn’t have a start plan. Now we’ve identified our audiences – which include small businesses and the young – and need to work on brand architecture and developing guidelines.’
Patten refutes suggestions that the campaign is being driven by recent comments made by Tory leader David Cameron that a Conservative government would reduce the number of quangos to save money. ‘For any organisation, it is about delivering what it wants to communicate,’ she says.
Four senior staff at the EHRC stood down in July, including commissioner Lady Jane Campbell.
A source from a shortlisted consultancy says, ‘There’s been a lot of internal conflict and the departure of senior staff. This is an informed supposition – but it’s interesting that the second tender is hot on the heels of an existing tender. It’s as though they’re trying to move the whole thing along a bit quicker.’
The source adds that the process of issuing two tenders in such close succession could interfere with time management and workloads and cause confusion in the application process.
EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION:
- Set up in 2007, the Equality and Human Rights Commission took over the role and functions of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission
- It aims to enforce the law, influence the development of law and Government policy, promote good practice, organise campaigns, events and communications, foster better relations and develop understanding and evidence
- It offers services that include equality and good practice training for employers, and a disability conciliation service