Following my recent blogpost and letters to Brian Hayes and Phil Hogan on the subject of Library Tendering processes, Brian Hayes has responded with confirmation that the County Councils do indeed have discretion with regards the award criteria;
"While the National Procurement Agency has produced a standardised set of procurement and contract documents these do not contain predetermined award criteria. As it is up to the individual contracting authority to determine the award criteria in any tender competition, the contracting authority should be in a position to provide more detailed information regarding the tender process"
So it would appear from Minister Hayes' reponse that Local Authorities may at their discretion, consider a range of elements in a tender submission such as how many people are employed in the region, what extra services does the Library Supplier offer, what is the past record of the Library Suppliers and what other businesses / jobs are supported by the Library supplier in the region. Not just the few cents off the cover price then!!
It would also be within their remit to simplify the extememly turgid legal documents that are the tender applications.