The cost of the EU tendering process

It comes as little surprise that the public sector tendering process is not only costing the tax payer money but putting off contractors even applying for contracts in the first place making the process less competitive and poor value for money. This has become a particular problem with private finance procurements. The NOA has criticised the PFI tendering process saying that that NHS trusts and authorities are spending 75 per cent more than expected on external consultants and that many contracts are uncompetitive and involve only one bidder.

Incredibly, PFI projects take an average of 34 months to tender. In one third of projects examined by the NAO there were big changes during the tendering process, adding 17 per cent to the project value, or an average of £4 million a year. Neil Bentley, director of public services for the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Public sector shortcomings are causing delays and adding costs during tendering, and the situation appears to be deteriorating.” All in all things, if anything, have got worse since the last NAO report on PFI contracts. So what is the point of having them if nothing changes? And why are the tendering processes imposed on our business by the EU so buried in red tape and bureaucracy? It is costing the tax payer money, and far from ensuring value for money and open tendering it is actually the process less competitive.