Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Love me tender....

There is nothing romantic about completing tender documents, the way that the public sector does its procurement these days. While the system is supposed to be more open, and fairer ( now everyone can have a go, type of thing) it is, in fact, closed and unfair because of the entry criteria to bid ( know prettily as pre-qualification) and then the draconian documents that have to be completed if you are 'lucky' enough to be given the green light to complete the document. Having slaved through a bureaucratic and complex process with no idea of budget parameters, and often working to a brief that has often clearly been drawn up on the back of fag packet, you are often told that 'your bid has been unsuccessful', with no other feedback available.

I have never met another living soul who thinks the process is a positive and fair one. Why the swathes of bureaucracy and burning hoops of fire, I wouldn't like to say. Jobs for the boys and girls perhaps?

Why do it? It is becoming the only way to get any substantive business in the public sector: billions of pounds of budget is now only available through a tender process. Some pieces of business are put out to tender with budgets of less than a thousand pounds! You can spend that in time taken to bid. Bizarre.

Anyway, the one we have done was big enough to warrant a gallon of midnight oil and a couple of fevered brows. Other half has 'uploaded' all ten billion constituent documents onto the 'portal' ( without his technical knowledge I wouldn't know where to begin) and now we can only wait with baited breath. Apparently seventy assessors are waiting to assess all the expected uploaded documents: their wages are paid by our taxes ladies and gents. Cancer drug debate and straining NHS budgets: look no further!

It has been to have a rant and rave- thanks for listening. Since I only got five hours sleep last night to get the deadline finished I am now going to watch Desperate Housewives, and then go to bed with a magazine and a cuppa. I might even fit in a leisurely swim before collecting teenager at six.

The joys of being self employed.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Good luck with your tender, Jo. You have my sympathies, cutting through all the bureaucratic red tape is never easy.