Selling to Public Authorities
Posted on 28.08.2008
The government frequently encourage SME's (small and medium sized enterprises) to bid for a larger share of the public expenditure budget. Some of the difficulties smaller companies face are illustrated by a packet received from Westminster City Council containing an invitation to quote for the Supply and Delivery of Commercial Waste and Domestic Recycling Bags. First are eight A4 sized pages stapled together entitled "Specification". Secondly are eighteen similar sheets stapled together headed.
Contract for the Supply and Delivery of Commercial Waste and Domestic Recycling Bags Instructions to Tenderers.
This contains a section:
The contract period is initially for a period of 2 years although the City Council reserves the right to extend the contract for a further period or periods of up to 2 years making a total possible contract period of 4 years.
The third batch of 17 sheets is headed Response Document
This contains a statement:
All prices are fixed for the Contract period of two years. The City Council reserves the right to extend the contract for a further period or periods of up to 2 years making a possible Contract Period of 4 years. The City Council; do not anticipate paying highter prices for any extended period, but if the Contractor can provide substantial evidence of major increases in costs, an increase in line with RPI may be considered.
The fourth set of papers is called "Conditions of Contract" and is 25 sheets of A4 paper.