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Thursday24 July 2014

Letter to the editor

PQQ problems are clients' fault

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I can’t believe any client needs to spend £70,000 to assess something of this value, and the costs of pre qualification seem to be confused with those of tenders.

Either way, the rants about Ojeus must refer to the Public Contract Regulations with their purpose of opening up public procurement to fair and transparent competition. Surely we can’t complain about that, or do we want the good old days of councils’ everlasting “approved lists” which excluded opportunities for any newcomers, large or small?

The problem isn’t the regulations; the problem is how these perfectly fine principles are implemented by public sector clients.

For example, there’s nothing that says you should have 100 PQQ questions, and it shouldn’t cost £70,000 to assess them. The amount of information asked for is purely for the contracting body to decide, so it is public sector clients who need to streamline their own procedures.

The National Housing Federation says its members spend £30 million a year on “procurement”, but with 1,200 members that’s only £25,000 each. Are they really saying they don’t need to spend anything on procuring contracts?

Ian Layzell, Cardiff

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