Norfolk Council Procurement embraces Twitter – with one problem

Innovation from Norfolk County Council, who are embracing social media and communicating with suppliers and potential suppliers trough Twitter! The Guardian reports that new contract opportunities will be “advertised” through Twitter.

The council, which believes it is one of the first councils in the country to tweet tender opportunities, has taken to the microblogging site in effort to make it easier for local businesses to bid for council contracts.The @NCCContracts account, which went live earlier this month, will be promoted to any businesses that are among the council's over 5,500 corporate Twitter account followers.

But my heart sank with this comment from the report.

The council's communications department will look after the new Twitter account, working with the procurement team to get the latest information.

What do they mean, “look after” the account? “Working with the procurement team”?

It’s 140 characters for goodness sake. It takes me on average about 2 minutes to write a Tweet. Why can’t the procurement team “look after” the account?

I’m sorry, but that looks like a blatant job protection scheme for the comms people, a waste of taxpayers’ money, and goes against the whole spirit of Twitter – immediate, personal, quick-fire...

“New tender launched for office furniture, value £50,000, see this link for further details, closing date April 25th”.

There you go. 45 seconds.

So three cheers for the Norfolk procurement team and the idea in concept, no cheers for the inefficiency and bureaucracy kicking in.

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Voices (7)

  1. Phoenix:

    Not looking forward to getting tweet from an unsuccessful bidder that reads: “Objecting to standstill decision on contract award due to lack of transparency in scoring process for furniture designs. Issuing proceedings”

  2. Final Furlong:

    Ok, the challenge has been accepted. A ‘PIN’ via Twitter (using max 140 characters incl spaces). Try and beat this…

    Outsource contract. Everything. 10 years+. £huge. Local SMEs welcome. IBM not welcome (see press for details). Call procurement not Comms.

  3. David Atkinson:

    It’ll work when they receive bid submissions via Twitter too. Can’t wait to see that.

    140 characters – no attachments. 🙂

  4. Al Collier:

    Peter this is a non-story. Procurement does the tweeting, not communications. We liaise with them about issues affecting SMEs which can usefully be mentioned on both their feed and ours -like the Council’s current high-speed broadband campaign. Communications “looks after” the feed in that they keep an eye out for anything needing an urgent response during the day as we don’t have resources to monitor it continually.

    1. Peter Smith:

      Apologies – I made the big mistake of taking the Guardian report at face value! Anyway, I’m following @NCCContracts on Twitter now (@gpetersmith)

  5. Dr Gordy:

    I think Belfast City Council have been advertising tenders on twitter for 2 years!

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