Supply Managament article – procurement create PQQ hell

There is a very good article on the Supply Management website, and in the magazine,  by Brian Avery, previously an Executive Director of OGC (the Office of Government Commerce) and Paul Neill (ex Head of Procurement at the Department of Education and a man of excellent musical taste).

They now run the Bidding Consultancy, which, believe it or not, assists organisations to bid for major contracts. Their article covers the issues faced by firms bidding principally for government contracts; such as the inordinate length and complexity of documents.

They are spot on in their observations, and as well as being rightly critical of bad practice, they do mention the good work OGC has been doing to implement the Glover review (see previous posts here and here).  They don’t mention the OGC Supplier Feedback Service however – a great route for suppliers who are experiencing bad practice to complain and highlight these issues .

What struck me though is how squeamish we all are about issues that really do need addressing,  such  as their  great example here;

“The 35-page PQQ we reviewed for a relatively low-value training contract for a police force seemed almost designed to deter SMEs from bidding. Clearly, no stone was left unturned in the search for queries to include in the document, which had no fewer than nine separate questions on business continuity, 10 on quality assurance and seven on supply chain management”.

So why don’t we name and shame that police force?   Ring them up and say “why have you designed and issued such a stupid PQQ”?   (This also links to previous thoughts about whether procurement people have an easy life!)  If we want to improve government procurement, perhaps we need to be a bit more brutal.

In the meantime, good luck to Paul and Brian with their campaign and business.

First Voice

  1. Lloyd Sewell:

    PQQ’s are designed to do exactly that – deter the faint hearted – the issuers of a PQQ does not want 1000’s or even 100’s of applications – they want only a limited number of the firms on their approved list to apply – designing a PQQ this way means that they will not have to spend a time going through all the submission of firms who they have no intention of awarding the contract, it’s a way of interpreting the rules in a slighly different way – where you make an offer but ensure that it will never be accepted.

    LS

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