Buying Solutions (BS) is trying to control the growing dissent among resellers who are frustrated by the delays to the supplier evaluation process and concerned the whole process will need to start from scratch.
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Bidders should have received an Invitation to Tender for the forthcoming £6bn IT Hardware and Software framework agreement on 1 October but BS has dragged it feet as suppliers complained about the scoring metrics after some were cut out.
As reported last week, the 'A4 Growth of Business' question has since been removed and bidders are being re-scored., but following MicroScope's story, BS has asked suppliers to direct their concerns to its portal.
"If any bidding organisations have questions or disagree with any aspect of a procurement process, there is an established 'messages' function on our Bravo Solutions eTendering portal which ensures any issues can be considered through proper channels," it said in a letter to suppliers.
A spokeswoman at BS said it had issued the communication bidders "to minimise disruption" and "avoid any undermining of public interest, which is to produce a procurement vehicle which provides value for money."
The official marketing launch of the framework is due on 1 March but BS has come under fire from a bunch of disgruntled bidders.
"If BS had the courage of its convictions and went with its first analysis, the evaluation process would have been more credible," said one supplier.
Too many suppliers had handed in poor quality responses to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and were using European law to lobby BS to be reconsidered, "which has put the whole process in doubt," said another.
A third said he is seeking legal advice should his company fail to make the Invitation To Tender stage as a result of the re-scoring exercise - the 30 points attached to A4 Growth of Business has been withdrawn with the question.
"BS had four years to get this tender document written, it is a fiasco," said one supplier, who suggested the framework organiser may take all bidders through the PQQ and mark more aggressively in the tender phase to weed out firms.