What can bidders do if they are concerned that a tender process is not being conducted fairly? The Cabinet Office provides a service, known as the Public Procurement Review Service, which can assist with such issues.
In the last decade, we have seen marked improvements in the procurement processes conducted by public sector buyers. On the whole instructions are clear and documents are well presented. There are exceptions, but in the majority of tenders that we work upon public sector procurement is being conducted professionally and in accordance with best practice.
If however you suffer poor procurement practice, did you know that this can be reported to the Cabinet Office Public Procurement Review Service (PPRS) (formerly known as the Mystery Shopper Scheme)?
This service is not a source of retribution for a disappointing outcome in a tender process, but you can use it to help improve the overall way public procurement is managed and conducted.
The PPRS provides a structured route for you to raise your concerns about public procurement practice you have encountered. The service enables you to raise such concerns anonymously. You will receive feedback on your concerns.
PPRS also do their own spot checks on procurement documentation to ensure fair practice is being carried out.
The PPRS enables the government to highlight poor practice and then work with the contracting authority to ensure there is no repeat of the poor practice. The process does also identify good areas of practice that they can share with other authorities.
Use this link to find out more about the criteria your case should meet in order to be considered by the service.
As always, if you would like to discuss any concerns you have about procurement or tendering, please do get in touch, we would be happy to help you with your next steps.