The glories of public sector bureaucracy

A leadership training contract tender by Durham Constabulary required firms to fill out a 38 pre-qualification questionnaire that requested 163 different pieces of information before they would even be considered for the £90,000 contract.

If they, you know, sorta relaxed the criteria about who could bid they might be able to get the work for £45,000. Because as sure as eggs is eggs this sort of nonsense gets built into the prices that the public sector gets charged.

3 thoughts on “The glories of public sector bureaucracy”

  1. And of course this nonsense means less competition amongst providers, because a lot of potential providers won’t bother.

    Which is often what it’s for – shut out the newcomers, so that you can award the contract to your chums, who know what sort of answers will be approved.

  2. I get involved in a lot of tendering to public sector bodies, and it’s often so awful that it would be funny if real lives and livelihoods weren’t at stake.

    That said, numbers can be misleading. I’d say that most ‘Pre-Qual’ questionnaries ask for that many pieces of information.. but that includes things like ‘company name’, ‘address’, ‘phone number’. Completing them always seems like it will be a huge effort, but when you actually see what’s being asked it isn’t. If that filters out prospective suppliers who can’t be bothered assessing the real demands of what is asked, then I’m OK with that.

    Now.. the tender submissions themselves, and the following assessment and selection processes… well *that* is where it all gets silly.

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