Isle of Man Government – guide to best practice on tendering
The Council of Minister’s report issued in February 2010 on the investigation conducted by the OFT into mechanical and electrical upgrade work tendered for at Marashen Crescent and Reayrt Y Chrink elderly persons housing complexes concluded that awareness amongst Government staff with regard to the risk of collusion in the tendering process was low and that awareness of the role of the OFT in relation to investigating instances of anti-competitive practice was lower still.
One of the recommendations of the report was that the OFT worked with the Treasury to develop a suitable education campaign for delivery across Isle of Man Government to ensure those involved with the supervision of tendered works involving public funds have sufficient awareness of bid-rigging issues and appropriate courses of action.
In line with the recommendation, the OFT has introduced an internal guide for Government staff entitled “Making Competition Work For You”. The guide has been written and designed in conjunction with the Treasury to ensure all relevant financial regulations are adhered to.
The aim and purpose of the short guide is to:-
- raise awareness amongst Government employees in relation to potential anti-competitive practices; and
- identify the pitfalls of ineffective tendering and to encourage effective competition in order to achieve value for money for the Isle of Man Government.
The guide recognises the risks of suppliers engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, such as bid rigging. It highlights some of the practical steps Government employees can take to mitigate these risks and shows how the OFT can help.
The OFT has also designed a presentation which is currently being delivered to Government employees in order to raise awareness in particular to bid-rigging issues and appropriate courses of action. It is hoped that once employee awareness has been raised, the OFT will deliver a similar presentation to local authorities and any other interested sector across the Island.
Chairman of the OFT Bill Henderson MHK said “This is a very important issue not only in terms of fairness and value for money but also for sake of clarity and transparency. To this end we have produced a comprehensive guide which is intended to support Government employees in obtaining value for money and the protection of public funds as well as giving businesses a level-playing field. The guide and presentations will have a very positive effect in ensuring employees understand their responsibilities when following through the tendering process. Bid-rigging, collusion or any form of anti-competitive practice is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If anyone has any concerns any of these issues they should contact the Chief Officer at the OFT”.
Neill Davidson, Head of Procurement at the Treasury said “Purchasing goods and services through fair, open and honest competition is the cornerstone of the Government’s Procurement Policy. The Government must apply the highest professional standards when it spends money on behalf of taxpayers and this comprehensive Guide will make a significant contribution to ensuring that these high standards are maintained.”