Contracts and Tendering
When you sell a service it might be a ‘one-off’ such as selling a cup of tea, a place on a play scheme or a session in a day centre. However you might agree to deliver a service over a much longer period and this is when you usually sign an agreement, a contract. The service may be provided to an individual or an organisation e.g. to supply 20 lunches on 10 days of the year, 2 child care spaces a day during the 6 week summer holiday to a parent, 4 sessions a week for 40 weeks in a day centre to a carer. Sometimes you might have to compete with others to deliver that service. It might be as simple as providing a quote or you might have to set out more detail about your service.
Bidding, or tendering, for public sector contracts is much more complicated as there are proscribed ways of how public bodies must do this, set down by Europe, central government and the public body itself. To find our more there are some useful publications produced by our national body NAVCA:
- A beginner’s guide to Commissioning (although written for CVS staff it is a useful beginners guide and includes a useful evidence checklist so see how ready you are to tender)
- At Your Bidding (aimed at trustees)
- Or look at the Public Service Delivery pages of the NCVO website.
For information about contracting with local public sector bodies go to:
Steve Place at BCVS can help you to:
- Access your organisation’s readiness to bid for contracts
- Help you to develop policies and working practices needed for successful tenders
- Give you feedback on your tender proposals
- Help you develop partnerships and sub-contracting relationships with others to bid, and deliver, on contracts.