Gentoo Group backs down over £100 tender charge

The company at the centre of a pay-to-tender furore has backed down following a Design Week report.


Gentoo Group had been hit by criticism from design consultancies after issuing an OJEU tender that charged applicants £100 to submit their bids.

Steve Cluett, creative director of Playgroup, described the charge as a ‘dangerous precedent’, while procurement lawyer and Design Business Association expert Simon May said the tender ‘could cause problems and be detrimental for [Gentoo’s] brand’.

Gentoo Group principal procurement officer Colin Watson had said the fee ‘simply helps us cover the administrative costs associated in preparing the tender documents’.

However, following Design Week’s report about the tender, Gentoo says it will now remove the charge and review its procurement.

A statement made by Gentoo Group head of communications Sharon Appleby to Design Week says, ‘We acknowledge that charging suppliers £100 to submit a tender does not fit with the Gentoo brand and what we stand for.

‘Despite being a large Group we actively support local and smaller enterprises and have already changed a lot of our systems internally to reflect this, making it easier for people to contract with us. We have removed the charge for this tender and have begun a review of our policy on this matter.’

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  • Leigh Riley November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    A small victory…. especially when the tender will still be a ‘free pitch’.

  • C G November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The statement and ‘policy review ‘is a joke, how about:

    ‘We acknowledge that charging suppliers £100 to submit a tender to cover our own admin and running costs does not fit with common decency, supporting new and existing relationships or valuing those within the design industry’.

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