Laugh, Cry and Then Shake Your Head in Disbelief

Our esteemed leader in his blog last week described the trials, tribulations and frustrations of dealing with local government when trying to secure a renewed parking permit.

Now, I’m not trying to outdo him here, but I think I can well and truly top trump him when it comes to local government experiences.

We’re going through a bit of an expansion at the moment and, as a result we’re trying to win more business to be delivered by our associates. We’ve already done some work for a local council up here, north of the border and so we were asked to tender for a bigger piece.

Great… all simple so far.

I received the weblink and requested all the information I needed to complete the PQQ.

Ah! Here we go.

PQQ is Pre-Qualification Questionnaire.

Yes, we were being asked to complete a form (a rather large and complex form, as it happens) to see if we are suitable to be asked to tender for real… a kind of pre-tender tender.

Okay, I can live with that.

But then there was a facility to ask questions about the PQQ process and a whole band wagon developed about how to treat associates and whether their financial information was required. To be honest it was quite funny reading notes from consultants getting their collective knickers in a twist.

Next came the submission process…

In the instructions that came with the forms (on page 42) it explained the process for submitting a PQQ using the council’s portal.

The problem was it wasn’t working and so I used the back-up system, which was also explained in the PQQ instruction manual. I sent an email with the 17 (yes, 17) attachments, 1 for every lot we want to tender for should we get through the PQQ process.

In the meantime I received an email from the council advising me that the portal wasn’t working and I should email using the alternative process outlined in the PQQ instruction manual on page 42.

A couple of days after the email was submitted I got a call from the person who suggested I tender asking me why I hadn’t bothered. When I told him I had, there was a silence and…

‘I’ll give you a call back.’

The call back duly arrived two hours later when our PQQ had been found sitting in a little used mail box along with four other PQQs from other businesses.

After this week’s debacle I fully appreciate DvD’s (that’s Dirk van Dijl) assertion that to reduce government expenditure shouldn’t really be that difficult.

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